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Abia Industrial Park attracting investors from US, China, Belgium, others – Kanu

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Abia Industrial Park attracting investors from US, China, Belgium, others - Kanu

The multi-billion Naira Abia Innovation and Industrial Pack (AIIP), inaugurated last year at Owaza in Ukwa Local Government Area of the state, has started attracting investors as it sets to begin operation.

Indications point to the fact that the groundbreaking ceremony of the first Modular refinery in the state would be performed in December this year.

Other investors from the USA, China, Belgium, Turkey , Ireland etc, are likely to follow suit in locating there.

The state commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu broke this cheering news when he briefed journalists at the Government House, Umuahia.

Commissioner Kanu, however, used the occasion to state clearly government’s stance that the credentials upload, directed by government, is not another phase of verification exercise, saying the Abia NLC has not been fair to the state government which has been committed to improving the welfare of Abia workers.

“The NLC going back to associate upload of credentials with another verification exercise, I don’t think it is the right thing to do”, Prince Kanu stressed.

It will be recalled that the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), last week, directed civil and public servants in the state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s ) as well as the 17 LGA’s not to partake in the online upload of credentials as directed by the government.

According to the Commissioner, contrary to the views of the NLC, the issue of online upload of requisite credentials arose when government wanted to make some appointments from qualified civil and civil servants and decided to look into their personal files.

But to the greatest surprise of government, it was discovered that such persons selected, lacked the self- acclaimed requisite credential in their personal files.

His words: “The government discovered that some people don’t possess the right credentials as required by the vacant positions. The governor, then, asked that the files of workers be looked into and those who are qualified to take up those positions let their papers be brought forward.

“It was during that process that it was discovered that a lot of people didn’t have the credentials they claim to have”.

He therefore urged the Labour Union to retrace its steps as its action would not promote a healthy relationship between government and the Abia workforce. He wondered why the NLC with unhindered access to government could not get clarification before taking the matter to the media

“This culture of rushing to the media to go and speak about the government or say things that are not quite ‘palatable is not a very good one. It is not one that would promote a good working relationship between the NLC and the state government.

“As an institution, the NLC has access to government, unimpeded access, and as such if there’s any issue or problem or some ideas that they need to provide, I still believe NLC has access to government to make their views known.”

The Commissioner hinted that from reports in and around Aba and since the beginning of the rains, the perennial flooding which Aba is known for, is fast disappearing courtesy of the intervention of the present administration.

He disclosed that 15 more road projects are ongoing in the state in addition to many already commissioned, adding that the newly reconstructed Dozie way road Umuahia would soon be commissioned following the completion of its drainage work.

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Meanwhile, a delegation of Roche Group, led by Mr. Cosmos Madugba earlier visited Abia for partnership and investment negotiations in the AIIP at Owaza .

Addressing members of the state executive council this week , Madugba explained that the Roche group is an Equity Holding company involved in a number of sectors , including construction, oil and gas as well as agriculture.

He said that the Group is engaged in activities in over 20 countries, stressing that their visit to Abia state was to interface with government on ways to add value to the state.

Also contributing during the interaction, the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of the Company, Mr Ian Roche, who further explained that the group has concessionig rights in Africa with requisite knowledge in oil palm business, construction, oil and gas as well as Agricultural sectors, stressed that partnering Abia will bring huge benefits to the state. He expressed willingness to partner the state.

Responding, the state Governor,Dr Alex Otti has expressed optimism that the Abia state would rank among the largest oil palm producing areas in the globe at the end of his intervention in the palm oil sub- sector.

He hinted that a Belgian group has also visited to express the intent of concessioning the palm settlements in the state. According to him this noble intentions have become paramount now that government is working hard to level all the old palm trees and replace them with high yielding ones.

“I believe that this is the time we want to do something about it. We have a lot of palm estates in this state,” he said.

“The one in Ohambele is expandable.It’s not just Ohambele. All that area can actually be turned into palm settlements. The one at Abam and the Ulonna that you mentioned and several other places, even around here. We have the vegetation that grows palm.”

He informed the group that Abia as an oil producing state with large reserve of gas will want to work with it and urged the group to consider the Abia Innovation and Industrial park as a suitable location for their business.

“The issue of gas has been liberalized so we also want to work with you in Gas exploration and exploitations. We set up last year an innovation and industrial park. You may also want to have a look at it to see if it’s a place you may want to locate and take advantage of the abundant Gas there. Your establishment will be sitting on top of gas region and you are guaranteed of gas when everything comes on stream as you will be very sure of energy at very reasonable cost.”

 

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