Peter Mbah, governor of Enugu state has said agriculture, logistics, aviation, tourism, real estate, mineral resources, and information and communications technology are the major opportunities that investors can tap in the state.
He made this known at the ongoing 2023 International Conference and Expo hosted by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Tuesday.
The two-day conference aims to provide opportunities to discuss the Nigerian economy, identify investment opportunities and regularly interact with agencies, policymakers, government and other stakeholders on the obstacles to investment and policies to remove those obstacles.
Speaking at the event, Mbah said, the state was making fast progress in de-risking investment and making its ease of doing business more attractive.
“We have taken steps to identify and partially curate numerous specific investment opportunities in the state which are exemplary of the vast opportunities existing in the state for private investment,” he said.
He added that the opportunity areas offer investors an opportunity to partner the state government or invest directly in businesses which promise considerable economic returns.
In the area of agriculture and agro-industry, the governor revealed that the state was currently “positioning to take advantage of our proven strong factor productivity in the areas of some key segments of agriculture by opening up another 300,000 hectares of farmland for cultivation of focus crops and animal production”.
These focus crops and animal production opportunities include cassava, soyabean, oil palm production, cashew, which he said had a projected seven billion dollars global market size by 2025, and Nsukka pepper, which he said had become “a veritable export commodity as well as an industrial raw material for various spice brand”.
According to Mbah, investment opportunities in poultry, piggery, and fishery were large, while Enugu’s geographical position as the gateway to the North made it attractive for agro-processing investments.
“In the area of logistics and aviation, we are investing extensively in our logistics and aviation sector to make transit through and to Enugu efficient and seamless.”
He said the planned development of light rail in collaboration with other South East governments and development of modern logistics centres at key cross-roads like Obollo Afor and Ninth Mile Corner as other investment opportunities.
“The state is in the process of refurbishing and reactivating Presidential Hotel, Enugu and completing the International Conference Centre; real estate where the state would be developing a new town, which would offer 60,000 household living spaces,” he added.
Michael Olawale, president and chairman of the council of LCCI, said investors must first have confidence in the long-term stability of the economy that they are investing in.
“You must be aware that public finances are under control, investment will not be lost due to inflationary spikes, and neither uncertainty nor excessive hike, and neither uncertainty nor excessive hike in interest rate would suddenly not cripple your business,” he said.
He noted that the first requirement for boosting investment and promoting sustainable growth is a continuous political commitment to responsible fiscal policy and control of inflation. “This government has also demonstrated its intention to support the growth and stability of the manufacturing sector, as well as the small businesses.”