Australian Envoy Seeks Closer Ties with Enugu 

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• As Ugwuanyi Lists State’s Economic Potential  

The  Australian  High Commissioner  to  Nigeria, Mr. Paul Lehmann, has expressed the willingness of businesses in his country to explore commercial opportunities in Enugu State.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to Government House, Enugu, the envoy said that Nigeria and Australia both have a longstanding relationship which would be further strengthened through mutually-beneficial economic cooperation, adding that a huge prospect for collaboration exists in the country’s extractive sector.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his response explained that Enugu State is endowed with  natural resources such as coal, oil and gas, and several other investment opportunities, pointing out that his administration has taken steps to protect the interest of potential local and foreign investors.

“We  have  continued to  invest  in such  areas as  security, infrastructural  development, environmental improvement, expansion and regularization  of  social  services, intellectual  development, skill acquisition, etc,  all of  which  we  believe  will help  to  sustain  the enabling  environment for  business  to flourish  in  the  state,” he said.

The  governor noted that the siting of a free trade zone in Enugu, the  presence  of  an  international  airport and his administration’s urbanization initiative are features that make the state an investor’s delight. He also informed the high commissioner that the  state  has  listed over 17 government-owned companies and enterprises for privatization and commercialization which, he said, will boost the state’s economy once investors are found.

He urged the Australian government to assist the state to develop its agricultural potential, as well as with its bid to provide improved water supply and healthcare for the people.

Earlier, Mr. Lehmann and his team had visited a school for the visually-impaired where they donated some computers, adding that driving round the city gave him an ample opportunity to appreciate the alluring landscape and immense infrastructural development.