By Chris Ochayi
The future of Nigeria’s economy seems to be getting brighter by day since President Muhammadu Buhari made the famous business trip to the People’s Republic of China a few months back.
Many Nigerians have since expressed satisfaction over the success of the visit to China, which has yielded investments for Nigeria in excess of $6 billion.
The visit is said to have birthed several agreements and created potentials in different sectors of Nigerian economy, including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation. It was on this backdrop that some consummate private sector drivers who formed part of the trip tapped into opportunities provided by the tour sought to attract some conglomerates to invest in Nigeria.
Highlight of the trip was the business agreement sealed between an indigenous firm, the Urban Tech Engineering Limited and China CAMCE Engineering Company Limited in collaboration with DLK Engineering Limited. This deal has paid off as the China CAMCE Engineering Company Limited, has already given a nod to come into Nigerian market with zeal and commitment to invest huge amount running into several billions of US dollars in some selected areas of Nigeria’s business life.
In fact, the firm has indicated its interest to get the largest chunk of her country’s $60 billion funds, set outside to develop investments in Africa to invest in Nigeria. This huge money would be invested in projects under the Public Private Partnership, PPP, and Build Operate and Transfer, BOT, schemes without asking the government for a dime or contract sum.
China CAMC Engineering Co., Ltd (CAMCE) an incorporated company affiliated to China National Machinery Industry Corporation (SINOMACH), has shown interest to participate in the areas of; Power, Railway, Oil and Gas, Housing, Agriculture, Mining , Healthcare and Road Construction, etc. CAMCE has successfully undertaken about a hundred large-scale international turn-key projects, complete equipment import and export projects and investment projects around the world over the past years. It is on this account that a delegation from China CAMCE Engineering Company Limited, led by Mr. Yu Tao, had recently paid a visit to Nigeria.
The CAMCE delegation while in the country, had undertaken a tour of three South Eastern states of Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi as well as Delta State, where issues of business interests and areas were outlined. Principally, the visited states indicated serious interest in the commitment of CAMCE to partner with its Nigerian collaborators to make a difference in the life of the nation.
Speaking with Vanguard on the benefits of CAMCE’s mission to Nigeria, the Secretary/Legal Adviser of Urban Tech engineering Limited, Barrister Andy Chinemelu Nwaizugbe recalled that the Nigerian team interfaced with the management of CAMCE in pursuance of the assuming Nigeria cooperation.
He said, “when we went to China during the time of the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to China, we went to their head office and we had several meetings with them. And subsequently they sent a delegation to Nigeria. And that delegation was here for about six days. During the visits, the partnerships are mostly centred in the areas of power generation, natural resource exploitation.
The delegation, while in Ebonyi State, had useful discussions with the state authorities to invest in the areas of mining, Power, the Rice mills projects, Salt deposits, and gold mine, which the state is endowed with. Ebonyi state was interesting when the delegation visited the Rice Mill, where they used the hoarse to generate about 5 megawatts of electricity, which is scattered all over the state.
In Enugu State, the issue of coal to power generation top on agenda of business discussion the delegation held with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu. Governor Ugwuanyi made the delegation to understand that there were about 17 companies/industries that are moribund to which he was looking forward to resuscitating.
However, the number of megawatts of electricity expected from the coal to power initiative, according to the meeting would be determined by the quantity of the raw material available.
In the area of agriculture, it was also agreed the CAMCE establish Staple Crops Processing zone in Enugu State, which runs to Adani and Omowun in Anambra State and some parts of Kogi state, to an extent.
Upon arrival, they have interfaced officially with United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, UNIDO, with respect to the Staple Processing zone. UNIDO did the feasibility study on that.
It also met with the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Audu Ogbe and his Minister of State, Heineken Lokpobiri, who assured them of the Federal Government’s commitment to grant them tax free haven and create a level playing ground for their business.
After this, they also met with the team from Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, NIPC, where other investments that they could participate in were outlined, which essentially formed a summery of their visit.
While in Anambra, the delegation had useful discussions with Governor Willie Obiano and other relevant government agencies including the Anambra State Investment Protection Agency, ASIPA.
Governor Obiano accorded the delegation, accompanied by Nigerian partners warm reception, where issues of construction of power plants, transportation, a cargo airport which is supposed to be sited somewhere in Anam area of the state were discussed.
The Cargo Airport project is conceptualised to be the biggest cargo airport in the West Africa. It will also serve as a filling station for fuelling and gassed up for aircraft.
Also in Anambra State they talked about Agriculture partnering with the Agric ministry in terms of provision of heavy machinery equipment for mechanized farming.
Delta state was another place the team struck a major breakthrough in its quest to conquer the Nigerian market. In Delta State, the discussion was on industrial park. The team met with the Commissioner for industry because the Governor was unavoidably absent.
They had useful discussion about building Industrial Park in the three of the Senatorial districts in the state. They also talked about stadium, Umunede Race Park, Petrochemical Plank, among others.
On the account of this positive beginning, Barr. Nwaizugbe declared that “This is one of the biggest Chinese companies that entered Nigerian market,” adding, “They are coming with their money and to stay with us here”.
“They are not here to look for money but only to get guarantee of safe business environment,” he added.
On whether the Federal and state governments would give them the concession to do all these, the Company Secretary noted that, “I don’t see why not.”
Barr. Nwaizugbe said the Federal Government is encouraging PPP and there is no money anywhere and the President has said “if you want to partner with Nigeria you must show consistency and passion for this government.”
On his part, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Yu Tao, assured that CAMCE was storming Nigerian market for good, to light up entire business spheres in Nigeria just like it had done in other countries around the world.
Mr. Tao said the conglomerate was on mission to replicate innovations in engineering, investment and trade in Nigeria and as well determine to achieve a greater success here.
The Urban Tech Engineering Limited incorporated in 1999, has executed many contracts for the banking industry, ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs in the last 16 years of existence.
With offices in Santiago California, USA, the United Kingdom, UK, and Europe even as plans are on top gears to open the Chinese office. The firm which has a retired Director in the nation’s civil services, Mr. Kingsley Agha as Managing Director/CEO, has also participated in consultancy services and oil and gas industries contracts.