By Francis Igata, Enugu
The resolve by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to reposition the state on global investment map culminated in Enugu maiden investment summit aimed at positioning the economy towards uplifting the living standard of the people.
The two-day summit witnessed torrents of prospective investors who thronged the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, to queue behind Ugwuanyi’s vision and think outside the box especially now, that the global crude oil glut is adversely affected allocations from the Federal Government.
Chairman, Heir Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, fired the first salvo, when, on the opening day, he called on governments of the South-East geopolitical zone to forge a partnership that will drive the regional economy of the zone.
The summit Christened,”Beyond Oil: Fostering Inclusive Economic Growth and Sustainable Development” Elumelu who is equally on the board of United Bank of Africa, UBA and Transcorp Hotel, in his keynote speech said, “ Enugu State is on the path of economic repositioning with the hosting of this summit. There should be a collaboration from other sister states in the South-East to establish a framework for regional partnership which will position the region to undertake capital intensive projects that will affect the economy.
“This summit is a means to an end. The end is the economic revolution of the state and beyond. With this summit, the state has placed itself on the path of economic revolution. Issues that scare away prospective investors like multiple taxation should be avoided like Kaduna State government did”.
AKANU IBIAM CLEARED TO OPERATE FLIGHTS TO US, CHINA, INDIA
The announcement on the closing day of the summit that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Emene, Enugu State has been approved for international flight operations to and from Atlanta, United States of America, USA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Johannesburg, South Africa, Mumbai,India and Gwuanzuo, China received thunderous applause.
This revelation was made by the Chairman, Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who equally announced that Air Peace has been approved as National Carrier into the five countries by the Federal Government.
Onyema said, “Two weeks ago, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved Air Peace as the National Carrier. This means that Air Peace will be flying directly into Atlanta, United States of America, USA, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Johannesburg.,South Africa, Mumbai, India and Gwuanzuo, China.
“I have chosen to operate from Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu as the capital of the South-East geopolitical zone. I am determined to make Enugu an industrial nerve centre to restore its pride of place as was the case in the early eighties. This means that businesses in Enugu and the entire South-East states will experience a boom. “No airline flies directly into these countries from the East, West and Central Africa at the moment. This is a major breakthrough for the Igboman. Operations will commence in May and Enugu should be ready for it”.
ENUGU MEDICAL CITY UNDERWAY
Owner of the leading land transport company in the country, Peace Mass Transit, Chief Samuel Maduka Onyishi, revealed that the planned mega Medical City to be built in Enugu State will create 4,000 jobs when completed.
Onyishi said,”The level of medical tourism that is largely responsible for capital flight in the country is alarming. That is why I have concluded plans with my foreign collaborators to build a mega Medical City that will pitch the state on the radar of medical tourism. Most states in the South-East geopolitical zone have diagnostic centres. After the diagnosis, who does the healing?
UGWUANYI PROMISES FRIENDLY TAX REGIME
Governor Ugwuanyi promised,”to put in place all necessary legislations and institutional frameworks, favourable tax regime and special incentives that would make it easier and more convenient for the operation of businesses in Enugu.
“We are indeed telling the world that Enugu State is ripe and ready for business and that we are sure that a substantial exploitation of her potentials, would impact meaningfully on both the national and global economy.
“It is our expectation that the key outcomes from this summit would include opportunities for joint venture or outright acquisition through public-private-partnership, privatisation and commercialisation of some state-owned enterprises. Indeed as I speak, over 17 potentially lucrative state-owned companies and industries dealing in diverse areas of business and production, have already been listed for commercialisation or privatization.”
The 17 potentially lucrative state-owned companies for privatization and commercialization include; under schedule ‘A’ of the Law for Privatization and Commercialization No 15 of 2010 companies listed for privatization includes; Adada Rice Production Nigeria Limited, Premier Cashes Ltd., Hotel Presidential Ltd., Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Ikenga Hotel Ltd., Sunrise Floor Mill,.Enugu Marketing Company, Niger Gas Ltd., Niger Steel Ltd., Vanguard Construction/Furniture Company Ltd,, Aluminum Product Company Ltd., Enugu Transport Company Ltd. Enugu Vegetable Oil Production Ltd., United Palm Product Ltd.
Schedule ‘B’ Enugu Housing Corporation Ltd., Enugu Home Ownership Company Ltd., Enugu Tractor Hiring Corporation Ltd.