Lagos Stands Still For Lion Business Park, Enugu.
Lagos, the business capital of Nigeria, was shut down on Sunday, 25th July, 2021 when the operator of Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone - Lion Business Park Enugu, took her business outreach and sensitization to the business community of Lagos State. The business outreach which held in the banquet hall of the prestigious De Santiago Milan Hotel and Suites, Amuwo Odofin was attended by bank executives and the cream of Lagos business community under the aegis of Akulueuno International Market Traders' Association, led by their chairman, Mr. Anthony Obih; the Assistant Director of NEPZA/Zone Administrator, Mrs. Obiageli Obioha, who represented NEPZA in the event; and leaders of various markets in Lagos State. Special guests included the former President of the Nigerian Senate and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Pius Anyim; foremost music icon, actor, journalist, rights activist and former director of the Centre for Women Development, Onyeka Onwenu, OFR; and so many others.
In his address, the Chairman of Lion Business Park, Dr. Okey Mbonu explained that "Lion Business Park is conceptualized to bridge the significant manufacturing gap in Nigeria and West Africa Sub-region by co-locating manufacturing industries with wholesalers and retailers of imported, assembled and locally-manufactured goods and services". Dr. Mbonu explained that "Lion Business Park concept aims to turn traders to manufacturers; importers to exporters; craftsmen to innovators; the unemployed into business owners; and to retool our school leavers to make them employable".
Mr. Anthony Obih, (in suit) Chairman Akulueuno International Market Traders' Association during the cutting of the cake, surrounded by the Exco members of Akulueuno International Market Traders' Association
The chairman of Akulueuno International Market Traders'Association, Mr. Anthony Obih, explained that his association is championing a think-home business philosophy designed to make Nigerian businessmen/investors who developed and were sustaining many countries' economies to look inward and utilize the fantastic opportunities of Lion Business Park in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone and indeed other business potentials of the great Nigerian nation to reinvigorate the Nigerian economy and bring foreign investors to requite the goodwill of Nigerian businessmen in their respective countries and other countries of the world by investing in Nigeria through Lion Business Park in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone. Obih expressed joy that Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone guarantees security of businesses and investments and freedom to repartriate investments and profits. He opined that a combination of good policy arrangements like the ones available in Lion Business Park in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone and patriotic pursuit of the think-home business philosophy of his association by Nigerian businessmen/investors can revive and stabilize the Nigerian economy in record time and equally change Nigeria's negative profile of a "consumer-nation" to that of a "producer-nation". Mr. Obih explained that the conducive business opportunities of Lion Business Park in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone have fired the patriotic zeal of the members of his association to make the Nigerian economy great; hence, the memorandum of understanding which his association signed with Lion Business Park, Enugu which had enabled the association to commence the development of the international market in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone.
Dr. Okey Mbonu
In his goodwill message former President of the Nigerian Senate, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, who was the special guest of honour described Lion Business Park in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone as a project which passion was very contagious to every Nigerian who had the patriotic intentions of making the Nigerian economy self-reliant. Anyim prayed God to grant the noble intentions of patriotic Nigerian businessmen and investors the grace of fruition. On her part, the Assistant director of NEPZA and Zone Director, Mrs. Obiageli Obioha, pointed out that it was the concept of free trade zones that China, the United Arab Emirates and many other world economies used to "catalyze the industrial bases of their respective economies". Mrs. Obioha who further stated that the Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone was the first in the Southeast geo-political zone urged the Nigerian business community to fully exploit the opportunities of the new free trade zone which included waivers of federal, state and local councils' taxes; waiver of the requirement of import licences before importation; import duty-waivers on locally-manufactured goods, raw material components, capital equipment, machinery and spare parts; availability of a container terminal etc.
Cerebral music icon and Nigerian "Elegant Stallion", Onyeka Onwenu OFR, electrified the audience with her golden voice when she was invited to the podium for her goodwill message. She charged Nigerian business community and investors to bring their business culture, resilience and zeal which have become subjects of the envy and academic inquiry of the global community into Lion Business Park in Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone to make it work.
Fidelity Bank PLC, Union Bank PLC, A-G Mortgage Bank PLC and respective representatives of Abuja, Enugu and Aba businesses communities gave goodwill messages in which they lent their respective supports to the Lion Business Park project.
A cross section of businessmen/investors
High points of the event were presentations on the free trade zone of Lion Business Park, Enugu; question-and-answer session; prayers for the free trade zone of Lion Business Park, Enugu to succeed beyond the expectations of its operators; and the cutting of cake to mark the take-off of Akulueuno International Market Traders'Association's investment in the free trade zone of Lion Business Park, Enugu.
Following requests by respective representatives of Abuja, Aba and other business communities, the Lion Business Park's business outreach/sensitization seminar is expected to shift to Abuja. Given the commitment of the management of Lion Business Park Enugu who are the operators of Enugu Industrial Park free trade zone to their elaborate and well-thought-out plan, it is safe to say that Nigeria's economic revolution is fully set in motion.