Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State has assured the local and international investment community of abundant investment opportunities in the state, stressing that the state was making fast progress in de-risking investment and making its ease of doing business more attractive.
Highlighting the state’s abundant investment opportunities in agriculture and agro-industry, logistics and aviation, tourism, real estate, mineral resources, and information and communication technology (ICT), among others, Governor Mbah said his administration was minded on a paradigm shift from “the traditional model of relaying on allocations from the Federation Account” as the state’s future and new growth plan rested on leveraging its extensive human and material resources.
Mbah made these known on Tuesday at the ongoing 2023 Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) 2023 International Conference and Expo, which also had in attendance an array of members of the international community and investors.
Recalling the discovery of coal in Enugu in 1909 and construction of railway to power the European and national economy, Mbah said his administration was building partnership with the private sector to unlock the capital market, attract investments, and retake its place in the local and global economy.
“Enugu is now open for business. We are markedly revisiting our ‘ease of doing business’ indicators to ensure the environment is conducive for business. For example, our new land title processes will facilitate the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy in not more than three days or 72 hours.
“Processes for the procurement of building approvals will also be revisited and markedly reduced to achieve improved efficiency.
“We are automating all our major government processes to ensure transparency in all aspects of engagement with government and facilitate self-service by the public with little or no need for physical engagement with public servants.
“We are also willing to de-risk business investment in key sectors by providing access to land, providing support infrastructure, handling engagement with host communities, among others”, the governor stated.
In the area of agriculture and agro-industry, Governor Mbah said the state was currently “positioning to take advantage of our proven strong factor productivity in the areas of some key segments of agriculture by opening up another 300,000 hectres of farmland for cultivation of focus crops and animal production”.
These focus crops and animal production opportunities include cassava, soyabean, oil palm production, cashew, which he said had a projected $7bn global market size by 2025, and Nsukka pepper, which he said had become “a veritable export commodity as well as an industrial raw material for various spice brand”.
He said investment opportunities in poultry, piggery, and fishery were large, while Enugu’s geographical position as the gateway to the North made it attractive for agro-processing investments.
Dr. Mbah noted that survey showed that about 40 per cent of the air cargo imported via Lagos was actually destined for the South East and South South, thus making investments in logistics and aviation quite lucrative.
“In the area of logistics and aviation, we are investing extensively in our logistics and aviation sector to make transit through and to Enugu efficient and seamless.
“To achieve this, we are prioritising development of a cargo terminal for the Enugu International Airport to facilitate the direct receipt of cargo in Enugu as opposed to the current practice of shipping into Lagos airport and then undertaking the ardouos and expensive overland journey to the South East by truck. The terminal will also facilitate the export of agro-produce direct from Enugu”.
He also listed the planned development of light rail in collaboration with other South East governments and development of modern logistics centres at key cross-roads like Obollo Afor and Ninth Mile Corner as other investment opportunities.
The Governor also emphasised opportunities in tourism where he said the state was in the process of refurbishing and reactivating Presidential Hotel, Enugu and completing the International Conference Centre; real estate where the state would be developing a New Town, which would offer 60,000 household living spaces.
Governor Mbah equally explained that the administration was working with the Federal Government to attract investors for the production of natural gas and crude oil as well as abundant solid minerals such as ironstone, zinc, lead, limestone, kaolin.
He further listed investment opportunities in ICT, which he said remained a priority to the government.
Recall that the Enugu State Government on Monday announced the inaugural Enugu State Investment and Economic Growth Stakeholders Roundtable scheduled for September 1 where the Governor is to unveil a $2.1billion project pipeline to local and international investors.
Meanwhile, the organisers, the LCCI, commended Mbah’s successful efforts at restoring security in Enugu State as well as ending the illegal Monday sit-at-home.
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