By Naomi Uzor
THE Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Willie Obiano, has said that in the past three years, Nigeria has been bedevilled with an unsettling atmosphere of uncertainty and Nigerians are basically sitting on the edge.
Speaking at the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), breakfast meeting, tagged “Investment Promotion and Protection: The Anambra State Experience-Challenges and Opportunities”, Obiano, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke, said the insurgency in the North East has combined with the spate of separatist agitations in the South East to create an unfavourable atmosphere of uncertainty that is extremely inimical to investment, adding that, there is no doubt that this scenario has short-changed Nigeria’s investment drive.
According to him, the Anambra narrative is that of hope in the midst of despair and triumph against incredible odds and anyone who is familiar with their contemporary history can testify that they have had a dramatic comeback from a very hopeless situation. “So, even in the midst of all the gloom and doom in the economy, Anambra State still offers a ray of promise to wise investors” he said.
He noted that Anambra is reputed to have one of the largest deposits of gas in Nigeria with over 30 trillion cubic feet of gas under her soil, adding,“Our crude oil deposit is estimated at one billion barrels. The story is that our oil and gas deposits have hardly been touched. My administration has opened access to one of the oilfields with the construction of the longest bridge in the South East. Two other bridges are being built at different locations to increase access to this precious wealth. We are ready and willing to go into partnership in this sector with any wise investor.”
The President, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, Chief Olabintan Famutimi, commended the governor, and the government of Anambra State, particularly the Anambra State Investment Promotion And Protection Agency, (ANSIPPA), for creating the desired enabling environment in the State to attract the huge investments so far recorded and potentially to be recorded across diverse economic sectors and value chains, particularly in agriculture, adding that, this is worthy of emulation by other States.
“Indeed, the current huge investments in infrastructure, especially the construction of the new Anambra State Airport at Umueri,the Anambra Container terminal at Ozubulu, and the impending concession of Onitsha Port will trigger more investments and spur exports. In this wise, we urge Your Excellency to embrace the free-duty export to America programme of the US Government called African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA),which will exponentially grow the businesses of MSMEs in the State, increase export of Made-in-Anambra goods, and increase IGR for the Government. The US Commercial Service and USAID are in full cooperation with the NACC to train your State entrepreneurs to become AGOA eligible countries -and to this effect, the NACC has been declared an AGOA Resource Centre by the US Government, qualifying the chamber to undertake the trainings,” he said.