Anambra State Governor, Prof Charles Chukwuma Soludo has engaged Stakeholders dealing in the importation, manufacturing and exportation of production in the state.
News Echo reports that the buisness meeting was aimed at proffering solutions that will make made in Anambra one major exporting state which will in turn transform the state Economy into greater height.
The event which hosted Business Roundtable with the Executive Governor of Anambra, Prof Charles Soludo with the theme: From Import to Industrialization for Export, was held at the International Convention Centre, Awka, the state capital.
Speaking in his opening remark, Anambra State Commissioner for Industry, Mr. Christian Udechukwu said that the essence of the meeting was for the ministry, Governor Chukwuma Soludo as a Chief Host to interact with manufacturers, importers, and exporters in the state and discuss ways in which leading industrial brands will originate and begin to export more made in Anambra products than exporting them.
He noted that the made in Anambra Export policy Initiatives will give the state a huge share of the African continental market.
“made in Anambra Export policy will grow Anambra industries, and transform the state economy, especially with Industrial parks, Industrial clusters, Free Trade Zones, Export Emporium, and Pharmaceutical processing zones”.
The Commissioner however called on the manufacturers to get key in government’s vested interest in attracting more investors to develop the state and achieve more growth routes while urging them to collaborate with his ministry, in industrializing the state and to expect full support from the Soludo led administration.
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer of Charity Foods & Spices, Mr Kelvin N Ukaebi lamented about the insecurity situation in the some strategic places like Upper Iweka, Oguta Road, Oba/Obosi Road, Bridge Head among others. He suggested the government to look into insecurity and erect CCTVs at Upper Iweka, Bridge Head, Borromeo, Nkpor Junction and other entry points,
Former YPP candidate for House Of Reps Awka north, Hon Uyammadu said one of the major problem manufacturers face is integrity issues when approaching foreigners for investment which have affected transaction trust. He suggested that the Ministry of Industry should draft letters and submit to notable Asian commercial centres and embassies informing them that Anambra has potential manufacturers, this he noted will secure opportunity to secure more people who will come and invest.
He urged the Governor to put up incentives for manufacturers who will be able to bring in foreign investors while he lamented over the infrastructural challenges in Awka North especially poor road and electricity.
Sir Peter Obianozie a business man at the Ogbogwu market decried over the high rate traffic in Onitsha metropolis. He suggested that Ogbunike mechanic site has a road that leads to Oze/awka road, he pleaded with the governor to open the road so as to reduce the traffic along Awka Rd, up to old road and New parts.
Hon Kingsley Ezika, a manufacturer equally called on the Governor to speed up with ANSIPPA in approving documents from investors, 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.
Akabuogu Onyeka from Ukpo noted that the old ways of payment for exports have posed serious challenge to exporters. He expressed that goods sold abroad are usually in foreign currencies while they receive their monies in local currencies on low equivalent.
Mr Nweke Ugochukwu however, suggested that there should be a visit to all international budgets, the cargo airport he added should be made accessible so manufacturers can begin to move their products from there.
Another stakeholder, Mr Emmanuel Chukukwu described how he could not secure his land proposal from land grabbers due to inability to acquire Certificate of Occupamcy, after spending millions acquiring machineries for production.
Other issues militating against manufacturers identified were difficulty in processing VISA, insecurity, touting, revival of the Onitsha Seaport, among others.
In his remark, Anambra State Governor, Prof Charles Soludo maintained that for the state to accelerate the Made in Anambra Export Policy initiative which will give the state a share of the African continental market, gave way for an interaction with manufacturers, importers, and Exporters in the State to discuss ways leading industrial brands will originate and rise from Anambra.
According Prof Soludo, the goal is to identify what our government can do to move them from Importation to Industrialization for Exportation.
He promised that reforms are on course to make sure that the processes for approvals in Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency ANSIPPA, is sped up without bottlenecks, pointing out that his government is also taking a second look at facilities in the agency to ensure existence of “multi doors” for easier access by prospective investors.
Adding that the present administration’s huge agenda in agriculture including the palm and coconut revolution which will ultimately create a new ecosystem around the state.
Prof. Soludo revealed that government is building up its land bank, pointing out that they are also making efforts to ensure that the processing time for acquiring land C of O gets down to 72 hours.
While assuring that government will create road markings to differentiate red zones from free Zones for motorists, he stated that government will address the issue of abuses by ARTMA officials including taking another look at their fines, though bearing in mind that what they are doing is for the overall interest of the public.
Soludo disclosed that discussion is ongoing to explore the possibility of generating captive power using gas, promising that by December, Upper Iweka will wear a new look and become the safest place, to make Anambra a true investment destination.