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Ebonyi: Emerging Investment Hub. by saninng (m): 12:07am on October 17
Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The infrastructural transformation of Ebonyi, the youngest of
the five states in the South East, has practically turned the
state to a construction site. Governor David Umahi; an
engineer, is fast changing the developmental narrative of the
once rusty state.
Notable Igbo leaders and investors from across the country
recently gathered in the state and passed the verdict that
Ebonyi was an emerging business destination in the zone.
Thrust of the Abakaliki gathering was the signing of
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between government
and some investors.
Leading the pack of the personalities who stormed Ebonyi
were President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia
Nwodo; Ndigbo Lagos Foundation led by Major Gen. Obi Umahi
(rtd); CEO, Silverbird Group, Guy Murray-Bruce; CEO, Everyday
Supermarket, Dr Charles Dimnwaobi and president,
Association of Computer Village Technology Merchants of
Nigeria, Prince Tony Nwakeze, among others.
Governor Umahi said the event tagged: ‘Ebonyi Business
Forum,’ was part of his drive to provide the necessary
infrastructure and facilities that would open up the state for
massive investment and speedy development because of the
way Ebonyi people were rapaciously neglected and
marginalised in the past:
“Since we came on board in 2015, our attention has been to
create an atmosphere to instil confidence in our people, lay a
solid foundation for the state growth and wealth creation;
every of our policy and project since that time till now
supported this claim. We were badly neglected in the past and
that was why I said I will do things that can hardly been seen
He commended the Lagos-based Igbo business leaders who
were in the state for investment, noting that time had come
for Ndigbo to start thinking home investment wise. He said his
Government would provide them with every necessary support
and assistance needed to help the growth, promotion and
protection of their businesses and investments in the state:
“These people have demonstrated the Igbo spirit, to have
come home to invest. We have offered to provide assistance
to them. We have reduced the prices at the mall due to their
interest. We have exposed our industrial clusters to them to
build their estate. The biggest edifice at the centenary, we
have reserved it for Silicon University, because it is compliant
to their vision.
“The international market has been truly made international,
and we are happy they are part of it. The shopping mall will
start by November 15, 2020. And from that time through
December will be bonus for the investors. I will also run the
utilities for free during the period.”
Nwodo said with the level of infrastructural development in
the state, and the attendant business opportunities, Ebonyi
has the capacity to become the next leading commercial hub
in the region: “Governor Umahi has changed road construction
in Nigeria and given it an Ebonyi character. What he does in
terms of making sure that the roads are durable is
phenomenal. He has a concrete overlay of an iron backing
before putting asphalt on it to ensure that he does not just
build a road but that it will last for a very long time.
“What I saw in terms of transformation this time in Ebonyi is
surprising. Governor Umahi, I still want to know the secrets. I
want land in Ebonyi so that I will be part of this transformation,
it will give me peace of mind.”
Nwodo chided some Igbo businessmen for their reluctance to
bring some of their investments back to the region, stressing
that the situation has slowed down development in the zone.
He noted that the time has come for Ndigbo to return home
and invest especially now that leaders of the zone like Umahi
were working to create the enabling environment.
He insisted that the South East has the potential to become in
Nigeria what Bayern is to Germany in terms of business and
economic activities.
Murray-Bruce said after seeing the level of development in the
state: “I have found everything I want in Ebonyi. This is the
best mall I have ever seen in Africa. And we would love to
move in before December.”

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