• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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Enugu: Mbah unveils $2.1bn energy, transport, agro-allied projects to stimulate economy

Investors see potential in Enugu govt’s $2.1bn projects

The Enugu State government is set to unveil a $2.1 billion (N1.6 trillion) projects to stimulate the economy of Nigeria’s southeast state.

The projects cut across critical sectors of the economy, including transportation, healthcare infrastructure, energy, power, and agro-allied industrialisation, among others.

The unveiling will be done at the state’s maiden ‘Investment and Economic Growth Stakeholders Roundtable.’

Also to be unveiled at the event by Governor Peter Mbah, is an integrated sector-based productivity growth strategy expected to position the state for growth and prosperity.

Chidiebere Onyia, the secretary to the state government (SSG), who disclosed this in Enugu on Monday, explained that the roundtable was a precursor to the launch of the maiden multi-stakeholder and fully transactional Diaspora and investment forum.

The forum, scheduled for the second quarter of 2024, he said, would be held in Enugu and expected to draw investors from across various industries locally and internationally.

“The N1.6 trillion project pipeline spans several industries, including transportation and healthcare infrastructure, as well as energy, power, and agro-allied industrialisation,” he said.

He added that senior executives were expected from the World Bank Group, the African Development Bank Group, the International Finance Corporation, the African Export-Import Bank, the United Kingdom Department for Trade and Business, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), as well as the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Read also: Enugu Governor Peter Mbah, performs first executive function, promises to be transparent

Those executives and others from commercial banks, corporate pension funds, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, and other domestic financial institutions, he added, would convene in Enugu to chart a course for effectively mobilising private capital for large-scale infrastructure projects, including net-zero aligned projects that could unlock the state’s economic potential.

“The roundtable discussion will cover a range of topics, including addressing barriers to investment and economic growth in Enugu State; improving investor-confidence in the state; understanding investor’s risk and return preferences; and identifying partnership opportunities for project preparation and co‑investments,” he stated.

According to Onyia, this is in line with Governor Mbah’s determination to grow the state’s economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion.

“Implementation of the state’s Integrated sector-based productivity growth strategy will ensure that those sectors with the greatest potential for growth are supported through measures to reduce unnecessary regulation and boost innovation and growth.

“The new administration recognises private investment as a key driver of long-term economic growth and prosperity, and the roundtable discussion will lay the groundwork for long-term partnerships and cooperation that can catalyse Enugu’s accelerated economic growth,” he explained.

He noted that part of the administration’s agenda was the development of an investment plan for the integrated sector-based productivity growth agenda with a credible pipeline of projects that would advance transformative change in key sectors.

“When it is released, the plan is expected to incentivise and encourage private sector investors, as well as other stakeholders, to participate in the financing and delivery of critical infrastructure investment projects,” he hoped.

Onyia was optimistic about the future of PPPs and investments in Enugu as the state builds a clear legal, institutional and policy framework that should provide a business-friendly environment that could enhance private sector participation and catalyse the scale of financing required to deliver these essential public infrastructure services.

According to him, the investment roundtable was the first step towards generating investment interest in critical areas and charting a clear path to bankability for the projects.