Otti Inaugurates Abia Economic Advisory Council, Names Oteh, Sanusi, Others Members

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

Abia State gGovernor, Mr. Alex Otti, yesterday inaugurated the Abia Global Economic Advisory Council (AGEAC) to further give life to his vision of transforming the state to “a leading global investment destination.”
The Council is composed of “world beaters, first class professionals, accomplished entrepreneurs and enthusiastic global citizens” who have all accepted to serve in the “robust team” of experts.

The 19-member body is chaired by Dr. Arunma Oteh with HRH Khalifa Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Bolaji Balogun, a financial market guru, serving as Co-chairs.
The Director General of the World Trade Organisation(WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the President of Afreximbank, Benedict Oramah were named honorary advisors.

Victor Onyenkpa and Ifueko Omogui Okauru, who had served in Otti’s transition council as Chair and Co-Chair to produce the strategy document that the government has been working with were included in the new team.
In his address, entitled “A new frontier of excellence: From vision to execution,” Otti underscored the importance of the AGEAC to his government, saying that he was determined to roll back the carpet of stagnation.
According to him, the calibre of people in the  membership of AGEAC “has already sent a strong signal to interested observers that Abia is poised to become the next big thing”.

“Our vision (is) to turn our State into a favourite destination for all categories of investments leveraging on the many opportunities that abound in our land,” he said.
The Abia governor listed the advantages the state has to include agro-friendly environment, steady supply of skilled and unskilled labour, tax friendly regime, nearness to regional and global markets”.
He also named other selling points of Abia as, “a business-supportive government and abundance of varieties of in-demand raw materials” hence the state is ready to welcome investors.

Otti noted that over the years the people of Abia have been hungry and open for development but sadly there was no political leadership with the will to actualise the yearnings.
However, the former bank boss declared that with his administration “a new dawn is before us” in Abia, adding that God’s own state was on the way to regain its lost glory.

“As a government, we are committed to reclaiming the missed opportunities of yesterday while positioning our State strategically for the promises of the future.
“We are not just determined to set new standards in leadership, we want to demonstrate that like our peers in Asia and in other parts of the world, we have what it takes to do great things,” he assured Abians.
Some members of the Advisory Council in their respective remarks expressed the need for the government to take and implement the advice that would be dished out.

Oteh told the Abia governor that assembling the team would not just be giving advice but would also hold him and members of his government accountable to Abia people and the global community.
Balogun in his remarks said he accepted to serve in AGEAC because of his belief that, “if Abia succeeds, Nigeria succeeds” given that the state has all it takes to play a significant part in Nigeria’s quest for development.
Sanusi also lent his voice in urging Otti to be ready to implement the advice that would be coming from the team he has assembled to assist him transform Abia State.

While noting that Nigeria’s political leaders usually ignore quality advice because “they are not smart enough to understand the advice”, the former CBN governor said he knows Otti as a man with a record of delivering on set targets.

“It is important to have a chief executive of with Otti’s pedigree. He is the chief marketing officer of Abia State,” he said.

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