Ease of Doing Business: Mbah’s Enugu State the Toast of Investors .

By Reuben Onyishi

Enugu State has become the new bride for investors as new businesses spring up in the state. Thanks to the Administration of Governor Peter Ndubuisi Mbah which in the intentional bid to attract businesses and investors, in the drive to upscale the Enugu economy to astronomical proportion, makes adequate provisions for ease of doing business.

Investors are mindful of return on investment. They are also mindful of investment risks. They weigh the business environment and what it holds for gaze to them. They calculate business risks which inform their investment decisions. What is it about Enugu this time that it has become the darling of both local and international investors? The answer is simple. Governor Mbah has positioned the Enugu environment for ease of doing business in terms of security, fiscal measures and friendly regulation as well as clear prospects of enhanced infrastructure.

The Investment and Economic Growth Roundtable organized by the Mbah Administration, no doubt, communicated the value potentials Enugu State holds for investors.The roundtable attracted development banks such as African Development Bank (ADFB), African Export-Import Bank(AfREXIM), World Bank and local banks: commercial and development banks, international and local investors to whom Enugu was marketed. Investment sectors of which Enugu hold comparative advantage were revealed. Such sectors as energy, mineral resources, transportation, ICT, agriculture and the creative industry were strategically positioned in the investment consciousness of participants at the roundtable. The resultant effect is that many deals have been closed as investors swarm Enugu as bees would honeycomb. This is deliberate and intentional of the Mbah Administration, targeting to make Enugu State one of the first three subnational economic hubs in Nigeria. The objective is to alleviate poverty and grow the economy of Enugu State to $30 billion GDP size.

Many business concerns are springing up in Enugu with alacrity. The resultant effect is immediate in the area of job creation. Globus Bank two days ago opened a branch in Enugu at Number 48 Okpara Avenue. The MD of the bank, a former Executive Director in Zenith Bank, Elias Egbi-Akenzua, on a courtesy call to Governor Mbah with his team, said the bank needed to position itself in Enugu in order to partner with the state government in its high drive for the development of the state and the high wave of economic activities springing up in the state. This is just one of the private concerns tapping into the prospects of the big economy Mbah unleashes.

The aviation sector is quite another. Many international airlines are eager to join Ethiopian Airlines for international operations, following the intentional efforts of the Mbah Administration to get the international and cargo wings of Akanu Ibiam International Airport operationalized. Consequently, a foremost air travel organisation, Wakanow Travel Tech, has yesterday opened office in Enugu as it positions for commercial activities the revamped international operations would bring to bear. More travel agencies are jostling for a place in the Enugu aviation business.

Foreign investors are buzzing around. The Chinese are on ground already, sending in proposals for partnership with the state in energy, transportation, mineral resources and many more. The governor in a day holds numerous meetings with investors swarming the Lion Building eager to partner with the state government as they got to know about the investment potentials and the huge returns thereof occasioned by the derisked business environment Governor Mbah has wrought.

Indonesia has positioned itself to tap into the integrated productive sector as presented by Mbah during the Economic and Investment Roundtable held in Enugu on 1st September, 2023. Indonesia is the biggest economy Southeast Asia and an emergent industrialized nation, owning big enterprises that play in Energy, agriculture, mineral resources and trade. Indonesia is a member of G20 and the 16th largest economy in world by nominal GDP. Dr Usra Harahap, the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, last month paid a courtesy call to Governor Mbah, seeking business partnership between Enugu State and Indonesia in the area of agriculture, trade, power, ICT and mineral resources. The Nigeria Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre(ITPC) in conjunction with Indonesian Embassy in Nigeria also in September last month held the 2023 Trade Expo Indonesia in which the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, and Adora Chukwu, the Enugu State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, visibly participated. Meanwhile, Governor Mbah is profiled to deliver the keynote address this month in Jakarta, Indonesian capital, in furtherance of the mutual trade, capital flow and investment diversification that would lead to the flow of Indonesian industries into Enugu State.

Who is left out? Already Enugu is the first choice of investment destination. The British Government has also begun to romance the bride. Recall that such British institutions like DFID had presence in Enugu, but later left. After the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Richard Montgomery, paid a courtesy call on Governor Mbah in Enugu, UK Visa Centre has in September been established in Enugu. Enugu and the UK Government are in for mutual trade, investment and technical partnership.

The length and breadth of it is that Enugu is largely an emerging industrial state under Mbah’s watch. Foreign and local development partners are scrambling for a place in the derisked business environment Mbah has wrought in Enugu State. With this development, the attainment of the $30 billion GDP size economy for Enugu State is fait accompli. Indeed, tomorrow is here.

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