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Enugu Governor Woos Manufacturers, as MAN Lauds State’s Improved Ease of Doing Business
Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has enjoined manufacturers not to think twice in expanding their investments and operations in the state in particular and South East in general, saying whereas many indices favour the South East, his administration has also taken practical steps to improve the business environment.
This was even as the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Otunba Francis Meshioye, lauded the Mbah administration for effort at improving the ease of doing business, especially the enactment of the Enugu State Electricity Law, saying such would boost manufacturing.
Governor Mbah gave the assurances in a keynote speech he delivered at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the MAN, South East, themed, “South East: A World of Manufacturing Opportunities”, which was held in Enugu on Friday.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai, said the high population density and good ranking in per capita income; presence of two of the largest market hubs in Nigeria, namely Onitsha and Aba; homogeneity of market; comparatively high rate of literacy and education penetration; a culture of hard work; access to most zones in the Country and the Central Africa via Cameroun, among others, made the South East an attractive manufacturing hub.
He reiterated his administration’s determination to grow the state’s economy from the current $4.4 billion to $30 billion and achieve a zero percent rate in the poverty headcount index. This he said, could only be possible through private sector investment.
“To achieve this rate of growth and meet our objectives, it was clear to us from the beginning that manufacturing and industrialisation would need to occupy a ‘front seat’.
“As a result of this, we have fashioned out a number of strategic thrusts to drive the growth of manufacturing and other industries within the State.
“We are developing at least one Special Agro Processing Zone (SAPZ) each across the three senatorial zones in the State.
“We will address access to raw materials by boosting large scale farming in the State with the demarcation of up to 300,000 hectares of high-quality arable land for cultivation by large corporate farmers.
“We are in the process of building a vibrant electricity market in the state by operationalizing our Electricity law, which was signed into law not long ago, and establishing a state electricity regulatory agency.
“We are boosting the ease of logistics within the State by developing in collaboration with private sector investors, world class truck terminals, a dry port, an international cargo airport and significantly improved road networks.
“Worthy of particular mention, is the fact that we are opening up a new route to the North from the South south and Cameroun by dualising the Enugu-Abakaliki road to the Ebonyi border and linking it to a new build dual carriage way from Owo to Ikem and Obollo Afor.
“Beyond these more tangible initiatives, we have also made efforts to address other ‘softer’ but no less critical areas by boosting the security structures in the State. For example, we have established the Distress Response Squad to ensure rapid response to cases of crime in the State. We are also in the process of installing a CCTV camera network to provide 24-hour surveillance of the State and facilitate the identification of criminal elements and even deter undesirable elements from engaging in crimes at all”, Mbah stated.
He said the state had stamped out the “ignoble” Monday sit-at-home, and also improved the ease of doing business, including reinvigorating the One Stop Centre Investment Centre.
The governor added that Enugu State was in the process of automating government MDAs and streamlining revenue collection to eliminate multiple taxation and facilitate ease of payment.
“With all of the foregoing, we can make bold to say that Enugu is indeed open for business. We are willing to do everything within our power to make doing business in Enugu a pleasure.
“We enjoin all manufacturers within the state to entertain no fears in expanding their operations within the state and indeed the South East”, he stressed.
Mbah commended the MAN, South East led by Lady Ada Chukwudozie for their “efforts to keep the flag of manufacturing flying in this zone against all odds.”
Meanwhile, the President of MAN has commended the effort of the Mbah administration at improving power and ease of doing business in Enugu State.
“I applaud the Enugu State Government for signing the Enugu State Electricity Bill into law, as this now gives the state the regulatory power to establish an Enugu State Electricity Market.
“We are also aware that the Enugu State Government, in partnership with the African Development Bank, Africa Export Import Bank, and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, among others, is working towards revamping the economy of the state.
“We commend the effort of the government as these initiatives would create a conducive environment for business in the state,” he said.
The AGM witnessed mass turnout of South East captains of industry and notable Nigerian industrialists and dignitaries, including the Oni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi.
Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.
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