BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has encouraged more investors to channel resources towards production for export.
The Governor was speaking during a Business Roundtable with manufacturers, importers and exporters in the State, which the International Convention Centre, Awka was venue of the event which had the theme; “From Import To Industrialization For Export”.
Prof Soludo stated that the roundtable session was organized to ascertain the challenges facing manufacturers, importers and exporters with a view to assisting investors to solve them.
He highlighted his administration’s economic transformation initiative including pharmaceutical processing hub, Export Emporium, Free Trade Zones, Industrial Parks, Leisure Hubs among others.
On the ease of doing business in the State, Governor Soludo revealed that reforms are ongoing in Anambra Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA to make sure that “multi-doors” are created to eliminate bottlenecks and speed up approval time for investors.
Prof Soludo who said that his administration is already driving production efforts in agriculture, especially engendering a value chain ecosystem around palm and coconut farming, assured that his government is working to reduce processing time for acquiring land Certificate of Occupancy down to 72 hours.
He equally centered discussions on creation of road markings to differentiate red zones from free zones for motorists as a way of checking abuses by ARTMA officials, exploring the possibility of generating power with gas among others.
As a way of projecting Anambra State as an investment destination, Prof Soludo promised that by December this year, Upper Iweka will wear a new look and become the safest place by the time the new security measures are introduced.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Industry, Mr. Christian Udechukwu said that the session is in line with Governor Soludo’s vision of transforming the State into one of the biggest industrial, financial, economic, leisure and entertainment hub in the continent, accelerating “Made in Anambra Export Policy Initiatives” to offer the State huge share of the African continental market.
Participants at the event took time to walk the Governor through their challenges including the Monday sit-home, bad roads in and around Onitsha, especially Owerri Road, difficulty in processing VISA, difficulty in procurement of Certificates of Occupancy, insecurity, touting, revival of the Onitsha Seaport, among others, and pleased with government to mount CCTVs at Upper Iweka and other entry points, to encourage investors to come in.
They also advocated the establishment of integrated trade platform, facilitated by the State, provision of incentives for more people to go into industrialization, creation of a contributory scheme for manufacturers for greater impact, among others as the way forward.