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2023 GOVERNORSHIP AND
STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

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Full Text of Speech Delivered By Gov. Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State at the Tunisia-Africa Investment and Trade Conference
Governor Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State
Press Release

Full Text of Speech Delivered By Gov. Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State at the Tunisia-Africa Investment and Trade Conference

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PROTOCOLS

1. Standing on earlier established protocols, may I commend the organizers of this conference for thinking home, for thinking Africa. Particularly, I applaud the President of this great country, Tunisia – His Excellency, Kais Saied for his support and approval to host this event. Thank you, Your Excellency.

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2. I bring you warm greetings from the Government and finest people of Ebonyi State, South East of Nigeria – Salt of the Nation. Ebonyi State is the Salt of the Nation Nigeria for a reason. We are endowed with various natural resources, honest, hardworking and progressive-thinking population. And so, on behalf of my people, it is a great pleasure to participate in this conference. I am convinced that this Afrocentric assemblage of powerful ideas, will drive Africa and Her economy forward to the success stage and attract huge economic benefits for Ebonyi people.

3. Ebonyi State was created during the commemoration of Nigeria’s 36th Independence Anniversary in October 1996, by the then Head of State – General Sani Abacha. The State has 13 Local Council Areas, 64 Development Centres, and 140 autonomous communities. Ebonyi State is blessed by nature with abundance of solid minerals, spread across the 13 Council Areas. We have salt, limestone, coal, cobalt, bitumen, ore, sand, chippings, onyx, zinc, lead and granite.

4. We do not only possess these natural endowments; we are as well, proud to have created a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in the State. Ebonyi is safe, beautiful, clean, progressive, untapped, productive, welcoming and thoroughly absorbing. We have legal frameworks to support and protect investors and their businesses in Ebonyi State, especially, the Ebonyi State Investment Promotion, Investors Protection, Concession and Regulatory Commission Law of 2019. I call on you all business people in Africa and around the world, to take advantage of this willingness of our Government to promote and protect direct and foreign investments in the State, and bring your businesses to our land. We have removed unnecessary bureaucracies, tax, and lowered registration requirements to accommodate investor’s interest to increase financial flow into the State and more profits for your investments. All roads and flights should lead to Ebonyi State for business investments.

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5. Talking of roads and flights, we have one of the best road networks in Nigeria – solidly constructed in rigid concrete pavement and smoothened with asphalt. Our international and cargo airport is one of the bests you can find anywhere in the world, with 3.1km runway done in stellar concrete and asphalt. It is known as Chuba Okadigbo International Airport, Onueke, Ebonyi State. It has beautiful ambience and adorns state-of-the-art facilities.

6. One way in which Africa can leverage the opportunities afforded by globalization is through interstate integration. This means, greater openness to trade and investment. Ebonyi State has all it takes to advance this framework for improved growth and development of all parties. It is noteworthy that this conference is themed ‘FINANCING INVESTMENT AND TRADE IN AFRICA. Again, I say to you all, Ebonyi State is ready for Investment and Trade.

7. Ebonyi State under my watch is investing to enhance science, technology and engineering to build a skilled workforce, capable of driving technological innovation. As I speak to you, constructions of our two (2) new institutions – University of ICT Offerekpe in Izzi Local Government and University of Aeronautic Engineering in Ezza are speedily underway. Our passion for education has seen us invest as well in research and development, to drive innovation and adapt global technologies to meet the NEEDS of our PEOPLE. That same passion has led us in approving academic scholarships for 1000 Ebonyi people to advance their education outside and within Nigeria. They are to undertake key courses like Data Analysis and other necessary courses to keep us at par with global trends and development. It is our intention to promote academic and industry collaboration, to ensure that academic research addresses real-world challenges and facilitates technology growth.

8. i. In terms of industrialization, we have taken bold steps to revitalize our Pipe Production Company. This company has six (6) lines of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) extrusion machines and two (2) lines of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) extrusion machines. The PVC machines produce from 20 to 160 gauges of pipes, while the HDPE machines produce from 20 to 360 gauges of pipes.

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ii. In Agriculture, our Fertilizer and Chemical Company remains the best in terms of production of various types of fertilizers, like NPK 20:10:10, 15:15:15, 27:13:13 and 12:12:17. The revitalization of our poultry farm and construction of feed mill for poultry, piggery and fish farming are on course. Primarily, Ebonyi is an agrarian State with arable farmland. Our rice is the best you can find in Nigeria, because of its rich nutrients. Consequently, we have three (3) rice production industries in each of the three (3) senatorial zones of the State – Iboko, Ikwo and Oso Edda. We equally have the Abakaliki Rice Mill in the State Capital. This is for your kind information, in anticipation of your investment moves into Ebonyi State. Additionally, these industries further strengthen our resolve to develop our agricultural value chains, as this sector remains one of our many strong points for economic prosperity.

iii. As part of our quest for industrialization and our commitment towards enhancing the aesthetics, quality and conduciveness of our environment for healthy living and development, we have given new vigour to our pulverization plant. To this end, we have procured and installed Ebonyi State Municipal Waste Sorting Plants at Umuoghara Recycling Plant. The sorting machines we procured have been properly installed, while the Recycling Machines have arrived Nigeria and we have taken delivery of these machines. By December 2024, our Pulverization Plant will be working 100 percent. This is in tandem with our Waste-to-Wealth Initiative.

9. Our policy direction and actions as Government clearly fill the spaces of the essence of this conference – ‘strengthening local transformation and technology transfer for sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.’ Principally, we are here to chart ways forward on how to meet the NEEDS of Africa. It is important to note, that our mantra in Ebonyi State is anchored on the NEEDs of our PEOPLE. As such, we are proud servants of Ebonyi people, calling on Africa and the world to beam their investment searchlights on Ebonyi State, so as to attain sustainable growth in the State, Nigeria and across Africa at large.

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10. Finally, I commend again, the organizers of this great event, especially President Kais Saied, for supporting this event, and all the participants here, who are united in pursuit of the Africa of our dream.

Thank you all for your kind attention.

– #FON


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