Visit Of Anambra Business Community To Mr President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR On Monday, The 20th Of January, 2014 At The Presidential Villa, Abuja

By Mazi Odera


Your Excellency, Sir, we are honoured and delighted to be given this privileged opportunity to meet with you. It is indeed another demonstration that Your Excellency is favourably disposed to the growth and development of industry in our country. We thank you, Sir, for this opportunity.

We readily recognize that your political life, disposition and the well being of our people are intertwined. For this singular reason, our people aver their commitment to ensuring that we collectively contribute in every way possible to ensure the success of your government.

Sir, you have graciously visited Anambra State many times, during which you have shown uncommon and demonstrable interest in the overall welfare of our State and our industrial sector. On these different visits, you personally commissioned the Innoson Motor Manufacturing Plant, Juhel Nig. Ltd, Krisoral and Companies Ltd (ROPP Plant), the Intafact Industry, Orange Drugs and Orient Petroleum facilities all in the State. You were there for us during the burial of our late Leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and our eminent son, Prof. Chinua Achebe. These visits will remain ever green in our memories and we pray that very soon, you would come back to commission some Federal Government Projects, including the flag off of the Second Niger Bridge.

The enterprising and persevering nature of Anambra people make them well-positioned to assist Your Excellency in the achievement of the Transformation Agenda. Their industrial acumen has translated into an expansive and growing manufacturing industrial sector, with key industries located in different parts of the State, especially the internationally recognized Onitsha, Nnewi, and Awka (ONA) Industrial Axis. This axis now includes the Ozubulu industrial hub. It is on record Sir, that Anambra has become a destination of choice for foreign and domestic investors. It is on record that outside the oil sector, Anambra State today attracts the highest foreign direct investment (FDI).

We are here today to express our unequivocal support for your Transformation Agenda and to respectfully bring to your esteemed attention, some of our collective needs, which if addressed, will help a great deal in anchoring the growth and development of industry in the State.

Some of these are:
1. A. Completion of the Power Substation at Nnewi which you promised in 2010 at the commissioning of Innoson Motor Plant. This 330/132/33 KV Substation, if completed and connected to the National Grid, will reduce the prevailing heavy dependence of manufacturers and industrialists on generators. With this development, the cost of goods and services produced by our industries will be able to compete globally. This will encourage our long time business partners to move their manufacturing plants into Nnewi thereby increasing indigenous savings with both Local and Foreign Direct Investment.

B. There is also the critical need for uninterrupted power supply in the Onitsha Habour Industrial Area as well as the need to construct 3-4 kms of walls and dykes to protect the industries and adjoining areas from further damage occasioned by flood as being witnessed lately. The Government of Anambra State has done a lot to improve infrastructure in the area, especially roads. However, power supply has remained epileptic and the most critical need. Also critical

C. The Ozubulu Industrial hub is similarly faced with the problem of power supply. This was part of the concern raised by the South African Industrial giant, Distell and Glaxo SmithKline, two companies that have concluded arrangements to build their facilities in the area.

2. Completion of Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi.

Due to population explosion, the completion of the Permanent Site of Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi will greatly improve healthcare delivery services in Anambra State, since it is a major referral hospital in the State. This Facility has been under construction for over 15 years and now requires an immediate funding to make it functional in 2014.

3. The inclusion of Anambra State in the Rail Master Plan and Gas Master Plan of the Federal Government of Nigeria. This will give the desired fillip to our business efforts.

4. A proposed partnership with the Federal Government (Ministry of Trade and Investment) to establish Organized Industrial Zones (OIZ) and a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in the State. This will encourage manufacturing by providing the needed incentives to motivate investors to site their industries in the Zone. Land is being provided in strategic locations within the State for this purpose. Key investors have also indicated interest to invest immediately the Federal Government indicates strong complimentary interest. If the Federal government and State Government work to realise this, the OIZ and FTZ will be the next stop destination for investment in the South East.

5. Rehabilitation and Re-construction of Federal Roads within the State viz:

(i) Oba – Nnewi – Okigwe Section 1

(ii) Nnewi – Okija
(iii) Start of Onitsha Second Niger Bridge

(iv) Completion of the Onitsha-Enugu Dual Carriage way

(v) Completion of Umueze-Anam Kogi roads.

These road infrastructure are strategic for the South- East geopolitical zone and represent key access routes in and out of Anambra, from the Enugu and Port Harcourt International Airports, as well as the Seaports for the evacuation of goods and services to all the key markets in Nigeria and beyond.

Finally, permit us Sir, to use this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, for the inclusion of Nnewi in the National Automotive Industry Policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria. This on its own, will attract many ancillary industries especially with the coming on-stream of the Ajaokuta Steel Plant, and hence the local content in Vehicle Manufacturing in no time will increase from 40% to 60%.

At this juncture, we also wish to appreciate the recent approval of funds for the overhaul of the Onitsha-New Haven 330 KV transmission line to boost electricity supply across Onitsha-Enugu-Abakaliki-Makurdi axis. It is again a demonstration of your interest in the progress of the country at large.

In tabling the needs of Anambra State Organised Private Sector, who are very resilient and ready to support you and the Federal Government, we are mindful of the responsibility to assist in tackling unemployment in the country. Addressing these needs would further enhance our ability and scope as well as provide the enabling environment to also create wealth and generate income.

Thank you Mr. President.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!