The Enugu State Government said it will be collaborating with the Indonesian Government to foster mutual prosperity, capital flows and diversification of Indonesian industries into the state.
Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, Secretary to the State Government (SSG), made this known on Friday at the Nigeria Indonesia Trade and Investment (NIITF) news conference in Lagos.
The conference has the theme “Rediscovering Business Potential in Nigeria”.
Onyia said that the move would also spur trade activities between both countries, as well as help them to explore the myriad of investment opportunities in the state across key sectors such as energy, power and transport.
He noted that Enugu 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 its abundant mineral resources, fertile lands with rich plantations supporting production of the best cashew, sorghum, rice, cassava, and other agricultural species placed the state as a vantage investment destination.
The SSG noted that the state’s breath-taking natural landscapes 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.
“Enugu State is 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.
Onyia also said that 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.
He revealed that the state’s vision under the Peter Mbah led administration was to make Enugu one of the top three revenue-generating states and to attain a zero per cent poverty headcount rate.
He added that the administration was committed to ensuring peace and security to grow the state’s economy exponentially from a 4.4 billion dollars Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to a 30 billion dollars GDP economy in the next 8 years.
“Our mission is to make Enugu the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living in Nigeria.
“Enugu 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.
The SSG pledged that the newly signed state electricity act by Gov Peter Mbah would be beneficial to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), and further foster business competitiveness and expand the ecosystem across the state.
He added that bottlenecks inimical to investments growth and profitability within the state were being addressed to further de-risk the investment climate in the state.
Similarly, the Enugu State Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, Mrs Adaora Chukwu, said that the state’s partnership with Indonesian government was based on the state governor’s initiative to move the state from 4.4 billion dollars to 30 billion dollars economy.
Chukwu explained that 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 that the investment forum would help to open up newer opportunities for investors, business, trade, and export arrangement between both countries’ 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 bottle necks to allow investors to come in.
“Nigeria hopefully will gain and attract investment, industries and capital in the partnership and for the Indonesian Government, it will be a mutual prosperity effort, with Enugu State giving expertise in some areas,” she said.
Mr 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.
According to him, the governor will be delivering the keynote address this year in line with his promise to raise the GDP of his state.
“We have a very robust line up of participants both from the public and private sectors from Nigeria and Indonesia.
“Areas of focus include but not limited to manufacturing, renewable energy, power generation, infrastructure development, health, agriculture, transportation, mining, digital economy and much more.
“This will be followed by a government to government, government to business and business to business round table discussions to further foster sustainable collaborations and fruitful partnerships.
“Finally, several Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be signed by the participants from Nigeria’s Public and Private sector participants and both nations can continue to grow in leaps and bounds,” he said.