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Economic diversification: Ebonyi govt. unveils lofty incentives to woo investors

..Signs MoU with Silverbird Group, Lagos Computer Village

Clement Nnachi, Abakaliki

The Ebony State Government, on Tuesday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with multi-national company Silverbird Organisation and Executive of Business conglomerate from Computer  Village, in Lagos State, on investment opportunities in the state.

In a related development, Governor David Umahi has unveiled series of incentives to investors geared towards creating enabling opportunities for investors participation in the state.

The Agreement was signed at the Ecumenical Centre Abakaliki the State capital, on the occasion of Ebony State Business conglomerate held between the State Government and the Executives of various firms.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Umahi said that the agreement with Silverbird Group of Companies would enable the Broadcast Giant establish  a branch of its Cinema at the Shopping Mall built by the State Government.

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“We have created favourable and enabling environment in Ebony State for business to strive.”

The governor also disclosed that 24 Chinese firms have indicated interest to invest in the state maintaining that they have obtained shops at the newly constructed Shopping Mall that has the capacity to employ over 25,000 unemployed youths.

“In Ebonyi, we have a law and this law stipulates that investors would not be afraid of any investment.  No government policy can affect any investment in the state.

“Even the mall, even though we are renting the mall per month but the agreement we are signing for anybody taking the mall is for 99 years.

“Every five years, we look at the rate to review it. I will not be afraid to say that for Ebonyians who are born here, I will give them concession to obtain shops at the newly constructed shopping mall in the state which  has the capacity to employ over 25,000 unemployed youths.”

Speaking during the event, President General of apex Igbo Cultural Organisation (Ohaneze Ndi Igbo), Chief Nina Nwodo, enjoined the people of south-east geo-political zone to invest in the region.

He emphasised the need for the people of the zone to go into Agriculture that  is driven with digital technology in order to diversify the revenue profile of the zone.

According to Chief Nwodo, “Our people should come back home and invest, we should go into Agriculture and digital technology where the world is going to, we must turn our Igboland into Catalonia of Spain, into what Bayern is to Germany, if you go to Spain, you can’t go into business without Catalonia, if you go to Germany, you can’t do any business without Bayern.

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“Onitsha and Aba markets in Anambra and Abia states are almost coming to that, here in Ebonyi State the Governor is almost turning the state into Bayern of Igboland because of the phenomenal growth the state  recorded under the present administration in the state.”

Highlights of the event were paper presentations  with various topics ‘The Place of Infrastructure in Economic Development’ by Engr. Fidelis Nwaze, ‘Investment Opportunities in Ebonyi State’ by Mrs. China Nwaze, ‘Ebonyi State Champion of Federal Government Direct Investment Programme’, ‘Ease of Doing Business in Ebonyi State’ by Barr. Cletus Ofoke,” among others.

The occasion was attended by the Traditional Ruler of Onitsha Dr Alfred Achebe, President of Ebonyi Chamber of Commerce Chief Ezeh Emmanuel Ezeh, President Ndi Igbo Lagos Foundation Maj Gen Obi Umahi (rtd), President Computer Village Technology Merchants of Nigeria Prince Tony, and Chairman Everyday Group of Companies Dr Charles Dimnwanobi and members of Ebonyi State Executive Council.