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New set of investors have made presentations to the Enugu State Executive Council (EXCO) on the possibility of establishing business investments in the state in line with the robust investment drive of the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi administration.
A Morocco based company, OCP Africa, the world’s first producer and exporter of phosphate rock and phosphoric acid and the number two in phosphate-based fertilizers, made a presentation at the EXCO meeting on its plan to establish a fertilizer blending plant in Enugu State.
Addressing newsmen after the presentation, the company’s Country Manager and Deputy Managing Director, Nigeria, Caleb Usoh said that the firm chose Enugu State as one of the states to invest in the fertilizer business because of “the peaceful, secure and friendly investment atmosphere” in the state.
Usoh added that the company was also attracted by the investment drive of the state government and the infrastructural development in the state, stressing that the state government has exhibited serious commitment that “Enugu State is open and ready for business”.
“We have seen the level of drive by government of Enugu State to woo investors to the state. We have a more peaceful environment here to operate business and it is really key for any business. You can’t operate a business where you are not sure of your safety. So we’ve seen in Enugu recently that there is a lot of investments on food security and infrastructure”, he said.
The country Manager explained that the company is seeking development relationship with the state government on agriculture expansion through collaboration on the fertilizer blending project, adding that what it requires from the government was between four to five hectares of land and support in “identification, documentation and approval processes for selected site”.
He noted that “the collaboration will ensure steady access to supply of customized fertilizer for Enugu State Agricultural support projects at most competitive price for farmers”, stating that it will create employment, empower the youth, improve farmers’ income as well as the corporate social responsibility programmes’ benefit.
Revealing that the company had a fruitful discussion with the EXCO as “the governor has promised to put the machinery in motion to make sure that we get access to land”, Usoh further disclosed that “the plant is an investment that we should be able to actualize within 15 to 18 months, if we have access to land.
He also stated that the investment is at $7 million and has the production capacity of 100,000 MT/Annum of fertilizer for farmers in the state, adding that the site for the plant requires “industrial area, possible access to rail line, access to power and road infrastructure and good topography”.
Also at the EXCO meeting was an international company based in London and Abuja, Nigeria, White Page International Concept, which made a presentation on the need for the commencement of exploration of the state’s mineral deposits.
Addressing newsmen after the presentation, the acting General Manager of the company, Ifedinma Okafor, said that the governor has expressed desire on the need to begin the exploration because of the immense benefits it will bring to the government and the people of the state.
Shedding more light on the initiative, another official of the company, Onyiluka Ikechukwu stated that “Enugu State is literally sitting on enormous wealth, mineral resources”, saying: “Why we are here is to explore and engage the government on how to begin to harness these potentials that are hidden under the ground for the benefit of the state”.
Speaking further on the choice of Enugu, Onyiluka said that “Enugu State is good for doing business”, commending Gov. Ugwuanyi for making the state business friendly through his people-oriented programmes and commitment to robust investment drive.
Responding, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, his counterpart from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Industrialization and Public Private Partnership (PPP), Hon. Chibuzor Okafor, said that the inflow of investors to Enugu State was as a result of the existing peace and good governance in the state.
They stated that the governor has created an enabling environment for business to thrive in the state and has also engendered a robust investment drive, stressing that “Enugu State is peaceful, secure and open for business”.