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GE's $1B Investment In Cross River: Sambo, Imoke, Angbazor Lead Groundbreaking Ceremony

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, (THEWILL) - Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo; Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke; General Electric’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Lazarus Agbazor; and Vice Chairman, GE, Mr. John Rice, Tuesday led the groundbreaking ceremony of General Electric's $1bn (N160B) multi model service and manufacturing facility located at the Calabar Free Trade zone.

In 2009, General Electric signed a landmark country-to-company agreement with the Federal Government aimed at forging a strategic partnership that will see the two parties working together on high growth opportunities and investments in support of vision 2020 and in January, 2013, the federal government and GE of the United States sealed the $1bn investment for the establishment of a new manufacturing and assembly facility in Calabar.

Also at the groundbreaking ceremony were the Global Supply Chair Leader of GE, Mr. Phel Griffith; Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo; and Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Mr. Samuel Artom.

Faith played itself out when the initiative of the Governor, then serving Minister of Power and Steel was instrumental to the setting up of a framework where an MOU was signed between GE and FGN mandating GE to setup a plant in Nigeria way back in 2004. GE settled for Calabar, Cross River State without any influence from the State Government.

In the words Governor Imoke, “Cross River State has remained at the fore-front of Tourism and Hospitality Development. Over the years we have consistently invested in the development of policies that accelerate the development of the State’s economy. This no doubt has further positioned the State as a first choice for investors. GE which is the 3rd biggest company in the world is joining other investors in tapping into an economy that is ready for the future. Ours is a natural fit.”

According to Mr. Nzan Ogbe, Special Adviser, Governors Office, the state was chosen because of its exceptional enabling business climate for investment as well as supporting infrastructure such as functional sea and airports, free trade zone and a well articulated investment policy.

THEWILL affirms that Cross River State is also the most secure state in Nigeria with a crime rate of less than 2% and a fully integrated emergency response centre that is fully operational.

The plant would be designed for the manufacture of generator turbines for power plants, coaches for trains, engines for aircrafts as well as hospital equipment, among others.

Also with General Electric setting up in Calabar, it would attract a lot of other investment from allied companies who typically follow GE’s lead as their risk assessment and endorsement of Calabar mitigates any risk hitherto envisaged by potential investors as Cross Rivers due diligence mechanism is world class.

In consonance with GE setting up a manufacturing plant in the state, other multinationals in the last one year have done same viz; Wilmar group, Songhai Farms, Dansa, UPDC investing in housing development (Golf Estate) and ARM investing in the hotel and hospitality sector (CICC hotel).

The Special adviser, Investment promotions, Mr. Gerald Ada, also noted that according to GE’s due diligence of Cross River State, about 300 Nigerian professional engineers and technicians would be employed in the GE factory, and that provision would be made for the training of young Nigerians through the company’s technology transfer programme.

Photos of The Ground Breaking Ceremony Below:
VICE PRESIDENT NAMADI SAMBO (R) WITH GOVERNOR OF CROSS RIVER STATE, SEN. LIYEL IMOKE, ON ARRIVAL AT MARGARET EKPO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT CALABAR. JUNE 18, 2013

L-R:CEO GENERAL ELECTRIC NIGERIA, DR LAZARUS ANGBAZOR; MINISTER FOR STATE TRADE & INVESTMENT DR. SAMUEL ARTOM; VICE CHAIR G.E, JOHN RICE; VP NAMADI SAMBO & GOV LIYEL IMOKE AT THE GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY OF G.E. MULTI MODEL FACILITY,CALABAR. JUNE 18, 2013

L-R; PHEL GRIFFTH OF GENERAL ELECTRIC; MINISTER OF POWER PROF. CHINNEDU NEBO; MR. SAMUEL ARTOM; VP NAMADI SAMBO; GOV LIYEL IMOKE & VICE CHAIRMAN G.E, MR. JOHN RICE DURING THE GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY OF GENERAL ELECTRIC'S FACILITY IN CALBAR. JUNE 18, 2013

GOV LIYEL IMOKE & VICE PRERSIDENT NAMADI SAMBO INSPECTING A CATERPILAR AT THE GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY OF THE GENERAL ELECTRIC MULTI MODEL FACILITY IN CALABAR FREE TRADE ZONE. JUNE 18, 2013