Fashola, Ugwuanyi seek local investor in nation’s growth drive
The need to grow the nation’s investor-base around local entrepreneurs has been reiterated, as they have been identified as not only important private-public partnership, but also will remain when the situation gets tough.
Besides, while it is helpful to attract and secure the multi-billion Naira investments, they are usually not many enough to create the inclusion that are needed, which small businesses continue to provide.
The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, made the assertion while presenting a paper titled: “Public-Private People Partnership for a Vibrant and Inclusive Economy”, at the Enugu State Investment Summit.
The summit, codenamed Oganiru (Progress) was organised by the state government, as part of efforts to rave up investments in the state, as well as revive the moribund institutions.
For Fashola, the most important partners are barbers, pepper grinders, food processors, beer parlors, small food joints, markets and shopping complex, schools, small clinics, dentists, diagnostic centers, petrol stations, pharmacies, among others.
He however, warned that investors do not take positions on the basis of loyalty or friendship, but on the basis of profit and returns, based on where their investment is most secure.
“The more foreign they are, the more likely they probably will move when adverse conditions prevail. The more local they are, perhaps their local ties may dictate a slowdown of investment in adverse conditions, but it is more likely to restrain a movement away from the place they call home,” he said.
The minister noted that the country has a lot of work ahead to be able to compete with other global investment destinations in terms of environment, infrastructure, medical facilities, emergency facilities.
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said the state is now laying a new foundation for the development with the summit, particularly with resuscitating the moribund industries as well as opening up new ones for the benefit of our people.
He said that government earnings have significantly declined, thus limiting its capacity to implement some of its developmental projects, but cannot continue to make excuses, rather devise alternative means to deliver on our campaign promises to our people.
“We are committed to reducing cost of governance. We are committed to ensuring that we get the best value for our money. We owe it as an obligation to ourselves to reduce our dependence on that source of revenue by looking inwards to sources that exist within the State.”
Already, the governor said he has given to give priority attention to constructing new roads and rehabilitating numerous others in various states of disrepair in the continued bid to reduce travel times, enhance connectivity with our rural communities and enhance economic activities in the rural communities.
The Director-General, OGANIRU Planning Committee, Ike Chioke, said the summit will indeed mark the beginning of full scale economic turnaround in Enugu State and the entire South-Eastern region of Nigeria.
Noting that these objectives can never be achieved solely by the State Government, due to the dwindling resources available to it especially in the light on the declining crude oil prices, he said the state is willing and prepared to partner with competent, credible and willing private sector participants in bringing to fruition its desires to its people.
“We have put in place systems that will ease private sector participation in Enugu State. Through the ministry of commerce and industry, the State has also establish a one stop shop for all enquiries regarding investing in Enugu State.