Enugu to Partner NIPC on Agribusiness

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Obinna Chima
Enugu state has expressed its preparedness to partner  the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) in the area of agribusiness.

This, according to the state, has huge potential to generate employment, create wealth and provide food security.

This formed part of the communiqué of the Enugu State Investment Summit with the theme: “Beyond Oil: Fostering Inclusive Economic Growth and Sustainable Development,” that took place in Enugu recently.

The state noted that the abundance of arable land was a great potential yet to be harnessed due to inadequate utilisation of the available land, dearth of information on funding opportunities and technology as well as challenges associated with storage and value addition.

Furthermore, it stressed that Enugu or any state in the South-east region has the capacity to generate up to one million tourists within a year which will invariably reposition the state as a top tourism destination. According to the communiqué, by adopting the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) approach, the state will invest in the construction of a large convention centre that will attract world class events to the state.

In terms of real estate and infrastructure development, it stated that it was imperative for the state government to consciously and consistently partner with private sector in developing the real estate, saying that the role of the government includes the provision of incentives such as reduced bureaucracy, basic infrastructure and waivers that will spur real estate development and attract other forms of investments to the state.

“The concept of ‘IRU’: Infrastructure, Rapid and Reliable Foreign Direct Investment and Unique focus on competitive advantage, is the key to the growth and acceleration of the economy. By shifting focus beyond the oil sector, there is a need for Enugu State and the South-east region to look introspect on how to harness the process of development through the free trade zone. Therefore, the Empower Free Trade Zone in Enugu is a major catalyst for change and transformation of the South-east.

“Radical reforms in the education sector can deliver great benefits and contribute to the growth of the economy. Such reforms should incorporate the use of ICT in order to be globally competitive.  With over 13 institutions of higher education, Enugu State can invest in its education sector such that it attracts students from other states of the Federation as well as international students.

“The enormous skill gap in the power sector is an opportunity to create skills and ultimately jobs for the youths. Skills in the power sector through the National Training Institute (NAPTIN), can cater for hundreds of thousands secondary school leavers who cannot get into university and polytechnics,” it added.

On the creative economy, the participants at the summit advised the Enugu state government to explore public private partnerships for the development of the creative and entertainment industry in the state. Some projects, according to them may include the creation of Nollywood theme parks, promotion of local artistes, setting up of academies of training for the industry and creating incentives for the sector.

“The general objective of the Summit was to provide an avenue where major actors in the public and private sector, international organisations, local and foreign investors as well as academic institutions will effectively engage to shape regional and industry agendas. Specifically, the summit focused on practical and feasible ways on how government and the private sector can partner to maximise Enugu State’s potentials for growth in non-oil sectors of the economy,” it added.