Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has performed the groundbreaking of the multi-billion naira Tower Manufacturing and Testing, Industrial Fabrication and Hot Dip Galvanising Facility in Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state.
He, however, did this with a promise that his administration would sustain its infrastructural and human capital development programmes in order to stimulate increased local and foreign investment in the state.
The project, which is at the instance of DELFRASCO Industries Limited, is Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative involving the company and the State Government through the Delta State Investment Development Agency (DIDA).
Okowa said the state was richly endowed with human and natural resources, including about 40 per cent of Nigeria’s gas reserves, pointing out that his administration had put in place polices and programmes to ensure an enabling environment for investment to thrive.
The governor said the coming of DELFRASCO Industries further buttresses his administration’s commitment to diversifying the economy of Delta and enhancing its business competitiveness.
“Since 2015, when we came on board, we have enabled the ease-of-doing-business in Delta State through several policy initiatives, including the establishment of Delta State Investment Development Agency (DIDA).
“It is gratifying that efforts in this regard are yielding the desired dividends and, I daresay, Delta is becoming the investor’s preferred destination. I urge the private sector in Delta to take full advantage of all incentives put in place to bolster ease-of-doing-business in the state.
“Aside the establishment of DIDA, we introduced measures to facilitate quick and painless access to land, harmonised the tax regime, and have accelerated infrastructural growth. With an expanding market and a vibrant youth population, any investor in Delta is sure of a handsome return on investment.
“Upon completion, this will be Nigeria’s and indeed, Africa’s first and largest multi-industry local content industrial complex, providing products and services to power, oil and gas, telecom, agriculture and other industries.
“Major customers are expected to include Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Nigeria LNG Train 7 Projects, EPC Contractors in Energy and Infrastructure Projects and telecom infrastructure providers.
“It is envisaged to meet the present and future demand for tower manufacturing in Nigeria as well as the whole of Africa, and contribute positively to the socio-economic development of Delta State and Nigeria,” he said.
He listed the benefits of the new project to include becoming a hub for power transmission technology, creation of over 1000 direct jobs, generating foreign currency earnings for Nigeria through export of towers to other parts of Africa, development and training of Nigerian manpower, amongst others.
The governor stated that Delta remained Nigeria’s gas and energy capital, holding about 40 per cent of the country’s gas reserves and supplying over 50 per cent of its daily gas demand.
The governor, who was in company with his deputy, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro, also lauded the landowners and entire Issele-Uku community for their support and cooperation with the state government, urging them to continue in the same spirit to enable completion of the project on schedule.
Chairman of DELFRASCO Industries Limited, Chief Chukwuma Okolo, in his remarks, noted that the project was one of its kinds in Africa, with its integrated tower fabrication testing and galvanising facilities.
Dr. Thomas Inugonum, represented the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), expressed delight at the take-off of the project, assuring that TCN would partner the company to ensure early completion of the project.
President-General, Issele-Uku Development Union, Chief Kenneth Ofodile, thanked Governor Okowa for supporting the establishment of the project in the community, saying the people looked forward to a robust relationship with the company.
The ceremony was also attended by former Deputy Governor of the state, Chief Benjamin Elue; Obi of Issele-Uku, Obi Nduka Ezeagwuna and top government and private sector functionaries.