Sun, May

Abia woos India to revive comatose firms

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has urged the Indian government to partner with the state to revive ailing industries, and establish new ones, in Aba, the state’s commercial heart.

Ikpeazu was speaking at a symposium and cultural fiesta organised by the Indian Universities Alumni Association in conjunction with the Indian High Commission in Nigeria in Aba.

The governor said Abia is always willing to partner with India to create jobs for Abians.

Okezie who was represented at the event by the chairman of Aba South Local Government Area, Mr. Emmanuel Emeruwa, urged the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri B. N. Reddy to see the potentials in Aba and help in reviving ailing industries in the commercial city.

“Most textile industries are owned by Indians. And I also want to remind our High Commissioner that Aba has a textile industry that is no more working. We will like you to discuss that with your superiors on how to make Aba textile industry work again. The facility is available and we can make better use of it in our relationship.”

Ikpeazu went further to inform the High Commissioner of the level of patronage on Indian products and urged him to try and locate some of such industries in Aba as the state is willing to give them all they need.

“Here in Aba, taxi is scarce, but we have more than 12,000 Keke (tricycle) all from India operating only in Aba metropolis alone. People even come to Aba to buy them. I invite you and your business partners to build such companies that can manufacture keke here in Aba. There is no point going to India to buy it while the market is readily available here in Aba.

“If you need land, we will give you and everything else you need. It is profitable to do business here. We don’t want to continue with importation when we know you can build those things here. The Southeast will be grateful and entire Nigeria will rejoice over it.”

Responding to the governor’s call, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, who was represented by the Deputy High Commissioner of the Commission, Shri Subhash Chand, promised to take the call home, assuring that India will continue to remain partners with Nigeria.

“India fully supports Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan with predominant focus on promoting agriculture and allied sectors as part of building a globally competitive economy.

“I am happy to inform you that as part of our cultural outreach, we will bring to you proponents of Yoga who will not only share with their knowledge of Yoga, but will also do live demonstration of Yoga. I am sure Aba Chapter of Indian Univeraities Alumni Association will mobilise its members and make Yoga part of their life.”

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the president of Indian Universities Alumni Association Aba Area Chapter, Chief Ben Egwuonwu said that there is need to establish Indo/Nigeria Cultural Educational and Business Centre in Aba for the advancement of mutual interest of both countries.

Egwuonwu said that the reason why Aba should be chosen as the location for the sitting of the Indo/Nigeria Cultural Educational and Business Centre is simple as he listed: “Aba is virtually equidistant to Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta and Cross River States. It is about 45-90 minutes’ drive at average speed of 80/100k hour to any of the above states.

“Aba is the heartbeat of Southeast and Southsouth of Nigeria that comprises 11 states. It is the capital of small and medium scale enterprises in Africa. Thus, it is called the ‘Japan of Africa’ because of its fabrication prowess.

“Aba is the commercial nerve centre of Southeast and Southsouth of Nigeria and the Alumnus population of Aba Chapter Area of this organisation has the single largest number.”


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