Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan
The Chairman, Nigerian-South African Chamber of Commerce (N-SACC), Mr. Foluso Phillips, has called on Nigerians and governments to wake up and start thinking big, if the country must catch up with developing nations that are attaining giant developmental goals.
He made the call at the recent N-SACC February Breakfast meeting in Lagos. Lamenting the ineptitude and infrastructural under-development prevalent in the country, Phillips said, “We do not have any excuse, if Dubai, without the resources we have, could turn their desert to a centre of attraction, with advanced infrastructures.”
The chairman praised the Delta State government under Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan for conceiving the Warri Industrial Business Park (WIBP) which would enhance the economy of the state and also create jobs for people.
He said it is a healthy situation that would generate revenue for the state and other stakeholders, instead of depending on monthly allocation from the Federal Government. He equally mentioned the Eko Atlantic City project being embarked upon by the Lagos State government as another good example of infrastructural development that has multiplier effect on the economy.
The theme of the meeting ‘Opportunities in An Emerging Nigeria–Focus on Infrastructure Development’, was explained by the Project Director of WIBP, Helen Emore. She said “it is time we begin to talk about the real issues that can make the country great rather than otherwise.” She said Nigeria is a country with all opportunities which can become great with a change of attitude and paradigm shift, citing Dubai and Singapore as examples.
She said “we should begin to see opportunities in every challenge facing the country”, predicting that the business outlook in Nigeria this year will be positive, better than 2012. Emore opined that this positive outlook would be driven by recovery in key sectors like Agriculture, Oil & Gas, Wholesale & Retail, Infrastructure, and Commercial Real Estate. According to her, the entire estimated economic growth for this year is N51trillion.
Emore said from January to December, there are ample business opportunities waiting to be tapped by discerning minds, adding that there are value chains also for every infrastructure projects in Nigeria to benefit from.
The WIBP Project Director said the industrial business park was conceived by the government in partnership with Arco Petrochemicals and Engineering Ltd; to implement its infrastructure and economic development.
“WIBP will provide the ideal business environment for stakeholders in the industrial and commercial sectors, while providing high-end residential dwellings. The proposed growth in the industrial sector of the state and Nigeria will not only result in the creation of new knowledge, enterprises, opportunities, and export oriented products, but will stimulate the service and commercial sectors of the economy, thus raising the state’s competitiveness in such industries in the global market,” she said further.