By Tony Edike
ENUGU-PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has reiterated his commitments in providing an enabling environment for both foreign and local investors in the country, saying the role of international trade and investment remained potent tools for achieving sustainable economic growth and mainstreaming the national economy.
Declaring open the 25th Enugu International Trade Fair on Friday, President Jonathan who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa said “it is a paradox that Nigeria is endowed with abundant human and natural resources yet the vast majority of the people are poor”.
The President stated that the paradox of life required deep reflection in order to place the country on a pedestal of steady growth, industrialization and economic development, adding that the infrastructural development is being given priority attention in order to attract investment and increase the nation’s industrial capacity.
According to him, the choice of the theme of the trade fair entitled “increasing competitiveness at the Nigerian products in the global Market” is very apt and timely considering the present administration determination to place Nigeria’s economic environment as an investment hub in Africa and among the twenty largest economies in the world by 2020.
“This administration new development paradigm anchored on transformation agenda and vision 20:2020 is a step in the right direction. The general improvement in power generation is a step towards this direction”, he added.
On the completion of Enugu trade fair permanent ground, he said that in order to fast track it, government had decided to adopt the private public partnership (PPP) arrangement to enable private sectors to be involved in the construction of hall, provisions, offices , eateries, shops, etc while government would concentrate on provision and maintenance of facilities such as electricity, water, roads, security among others.
Also speaking, the Enugu State governor, Sullivan Chime commended the Federal Government for its efforts at transforming the economy, pointing out that such measures included among others increase in the volume of funds available as loans and grants for local industrialists, the establishment of free trade zones and the introduction of tax and other waivers to encourage direct foreign investment in the nation’s industrial sector.
Governor Chime who was represented by the state Commissioner for Enugu Capital Territory, Ikechukwu Ugwuegede said the high level of security and efficient transformation system in the state had led boom in business and commercial activities in the state.