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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Gov. Otti woos American businessmen, investors to boost Abia economy

A team ↗ of American experts from the Political and Economic Sections of the United States Consolate, Lagos, has been on a working visit to Abia state to seek ways of expanding bilateral trade and investments as well as ensure cooperation between the United States and Abia state.

The U.S delegation was led by Chief Mike Ervin , while Governor Alex Otti was at the head of Abia team.

Speaking during the session in his office, Dr. Otti highlighted a number of challenges confronting the state, especially, the business sector, to include access to finance, power and logistics support in the area of digital economy among others.

He, therefore , called for support from the United States consulate towards promoting trade, investment and other areas of interest in Abia State.

Governor Otti was, however, optimistic that with Geometric Power Plant coming on board, the issue of power supply in Aba will soon be over.

Otti stated that Abia prides itself as a major trading and industrial hub in Nigeria, noting that it has over 50,000 shoe manufacturers and very strong in fabrics and garment productions.

He regretted that the State has suffered setbacks in the past years due to infrastructural decay and declared that many businesses that hitherto relocated from Aba to other states are gradually returning to Aba as his administration has in the last eight months fixed many roads in the state, especially, in Aba, which is also the industrial and trading hub of Abia state.

“In the past, we had suffered quite some setback because of infrastructural decay. You really cannot do much when infrastructure is not there. That is why when we came we started pursuing the rejuvenation and rehabilitation of infrastructure . Areas of preference were on roads, drainages, security and others.

“You can come-in as United States to assist us. If we solve the power problem, the next is access to finance. These days of expensive dollars, people are running away from foreign currency funding. But i believe we can sit- down and think out process whereby,even if it is for government to provide a guarantee and help against fluctuations in the foreign currency price, so that our people can be sure of support that they can pay back”.

Earlier, the leader of the US Consulate Political and Economic team, Chief Mike Ervin stated that the Consulate covers the 17 Southern States of Nigeria.

He explained that their mission is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and ensure prosperity between the United States and Nigeria.

He declared: “As you know, in the US consulate, Lagos, our top job is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and expand shared prosperity between our people.

“Our people share a long history of partnership and that was highlighted by the visit of our Secretary of state , Mr. Anthony Blinkin when he spoke in Nigeria in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago. where he spoke very eloquently. He spoke strongly on the significance and importance of US- NIGERIA bilateral relationship. Our desire is to seek ways of expanding that relationship to build prosperity for our people.

Ervin thanked Governor Otti for opening the doors of Abia State to members of his team to discuss ways they could find opportunities to build shared- prosperity for their people.

“This is one message Secretary Blinkin has been speading around the world,” he said.

Members of the Abia state team at the discussion included the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chimezie Ukegbu , Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Digital Economy, Chibuzor Elisabeth Chijioke and theTechnical Assistant to the Governor, Charles Egeonu.

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James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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