Enugu State government says it is collaborating with the Indonesian government to foster mutual prosperity, capital flows and diversification of Indonesian industries into the state.
Chidiebere Onyia, a professor and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), who disclosed this at a news conference in Lagos at the weekend, said the move was to spur trade activities between both countries, explore investment opportunities in the state such as energy, power and transport.
The news conference was to announce the Nigeria Indonesia Investment and Trade Forum (NIITF)to be hosted in Indonesia later this month with the theme, ‘Rediscovering Business Potential in Nigeria.’
Onyia noted that the state, in Nigeria’s historical context, played a pivotal role in catalysing economic growth by serving the energy needs of the nation and beyond.
He added that Enugu’s abundant mineral resources, fertile land with rich plantations supporting production of the best cashew, sorghum, rice, cassava, and other agricultural species have made it an investment destination.
The SSG pointed out that the state’s breath-taking natural landscape presented viable investment opportunities in eco-tourism, while its predominantly youthful population provided a wealth of human capital.
“Enugu is blessed with untapped natural gas reserves and our vast natural gas reserves have imposed a responsibility on the state to drive the Nigerian green economy transition. I am happy to announce that Enugu is one of the first states to attract investment in CNG-powered buses and the state has the potential to be a leader in the clean industries of tomorrow,” he said.
Onyia said that Enugu was a vital trade and investment gateway into the southeast region as it boasts of a multi-modal transport infrastructure to support trade activities between the South-eastern region, Northern Nigeria, as well as the rest of Africa.
He said the state’s economic transformation plan underscored a three-pronged strategy of boosting sector productivity, reforming key state institutions, and creating cross-cutting social sector programmes and services.
According to him, the state’s vision under Governor Peter Mbah-led administration was to make Enugu one of the top three revenue-generating states in Nigeria and to attain a 0-percent poverty headcount rate.
Onyia assured that the administration was committed to ensuring peace and security in the race to grow Enugu’s economy exponentially from a $4.4 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to a $30 billion GDP economy in the next eight years.
“Our mission is to make Enugu the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living in Nigeria. The state will become Nigeria’s most remarkable success story driven by industrialisation and structural economic transformation, responsible public financial management, robust growth in trade and investment, and sustainable and inclusive infrastructural development,” he said.
He pledged that the newly signed state electricity act by Governor Mbah would be beneficial to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), further fostering business competitiveness and expanding the ecosystem across the state.
Onyia disclosed that the bottlenecks inimical to investments growth and profitability within the state was being addressed to further derisk the investment climate in the state.
In the same vein, Adaora Chukwu, the state’s Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, said the state’s partnership with Indonesian government was based on Governor Mbah’s initiative to move the state from $4.4 billion to $30 billion economy.
Chukwu said part of the ways to achieve the mandate was through strategic partnerships and collaboration with various international and local investors to harness the various investment opportunities in the state.
She said the investment forum would help to open up newer opportunities for investors, business, trade, and export arrangement between both country’s economies.
“The government has adopted a model which is the Integrated Sector Growth Strategy (ISGS) which implies that no sector is prioritised above another, with synergy and connections of every sector to the other. Efforts have been made to strengthen regulatory and legal framework to ensure the elimination of bottlenecks to allow investors to come in,” she assured.
Ishmael Balogun, President, Nigeria Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), noted that investments between both countries have shored up to $4.6 billion dollars in 2022 from 2.6 billion in 2021.
Balogun noted that the potential to do more existed hence the theme for the event in Indonesia. He revealed that the governor of the state would be delivering the keynote address at the forum this year in line with his promise to raise the GDP of Enugu State from $4billion to $30 billion.