By Emmanuella Anokam
Abuja, Nov. 17, 2020 Gov. David Umahi of Ebonyi has described the Federal Government’s approval to establish Special Economic Zone in the state as a worthy overture capable of harnessing economic potentials of the entire eastern region.
Umahi said this while handing over the original copy of the Certificate of Occupancy of the proposed zone’s site to Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing-Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), in Abuja.
The governor, represented by Mr. Sylvester Ogbaga, House of Representative member, representing Abakaliki/Izzi Federal Constituency, extolled President Muhammadu Buhari for the gesture.
Umahi, in a statement by Mr Martins Odeh, Head, Corporate Communications, NEPZA, on Tuesday said the president had by this action finally accorded the region the capacity to live up to its right as a true industrial hub in Africa.
The governor explained that Buhari’s administration was now energising NEPZA to drive the country’s industrialisation, adding that the zeal of the new managing-director to ensure the realisation of the goal had been legendary.
“Let me unequivocally state that, the government and people of Ebonyi shall forever remain grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the state worthy to be among the six states to benefit from this wonderful initiative.
“We are equally grateful to NEPZA Management for ensuring that our dream of having a special business enclave like the free trade zone came to fruition.
“The state will in collaboration with the Federal Government, NEPZA, Organised Private Sector, enterprises and investors globally, ensure that this business ecosystem is developed with world class infrastructure for the benefit of the country,’’ Umahi said.
According to him, the industrial base will be fully exploited by the region as it will create jobs, spark export of industrial goods, attract both Local/Foreign Direct Investments and reduce poverty among the people.
Meanwhile, the NEPZA Chief Executive Officer, said he was elated to witness the delivery of the original copy of the C-of-O of the proposed site of the zone.
Adesugba said that he was also delighted with the commitment of the state toward the project so far.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari had bestowed parts of the Post-COVID-19 economic recovery plans and industrialisation process of the country on NEPZA.
According to him, the authority has the mandate of ensuring the buying-ins of all the state governments to achieve these noble targets.
“The Ebonyi Government has shown to us that when there is a will, there must be a way. I therefore thank the President for enlisting the state into free trade zone family,’’ NEPZA boss said.