A One Day Sensitization and Interactive Session on the World Bank Assisted Saber Project, tagged “Understanding Reforms, Easing Pain Points”, organised by the Abia State Government, has ended with a firm promise by the State Government to completely stamp out all encumbrances encountered in “Ease of doing Business”.
In his key note address during the event held on Thursday at the Micheal Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia, the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Ude Oko Chukwu (PhD), said in their resolve to cater for the welfare of Abians in general, the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (PhD), on assumption of office in 2015, pledged to improve the livelihood of Abians.
He said because of their efforts in promoting ease of doing business in the State, Abia was ranked among the five states that guarantee “ease of doing business” in the country, noting that the current administration in the State, after identifying what the State stands to benefit if all encumbrances encountered in ease of doing business are removed, acted fast to ensure that there is accessibility in exploring the potentials in Aba and Abia in general.
He said in the quest to enhance the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, focused on developing the Small and Scale Medium Enterprises, insisting that the bedrock of doing business revolves around the SMEs, as it has the wherewithal to attract investors to the State.
Oko Chukwu maintained that since inception of the administration, Governor Ikpeazu has worked tirelessly to improve infrastructure in Aba, the Enyimba City, informing that they have also made sure that the process of acquisition of land is seamless, noting that such effort was also taken in the area of taxation which guaranteed that people do their businesses without difficulty.
The Abia number two citizen hinted that the Governor Ikpeazu administration also identified power as a major challenge to ease of doing business, stressing that this led to the resolution of the issue of power involving geometrics and EEDC.
Contributing, the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Sir, Dr. Chidi Onwuchuruba said his Ministry has overtime, ensured that bottlenecks in land acquisition is simple.
He charged Abians and investors to visit the ministry in order to acquire land for ease of doing business, warning against leaving the land to remain fallow after acquisition.
On his part, the Commissioner for Ministry of Transportation, Chief Uche Nwanoruo stated that transportation is key to economic activity in that it provides key ingredients that drive the economy of any nation.
He maintained that his Ministry has achieved much in terms of encouraging people to do business in Aba, pointing out that the Osisioma Interchange done by the administration of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has assisted in reducing the traffic situation in the area as it were.
Earlier in his address, the Abia State Reform Champion/Secretary, Mr Chinenye Nwaogu, said the Abia State Government since 2015 has continously worked hard to improve the business operating environment to enable MSMEs, businesses and organized private sector to transact their businesses with minimal inconveniences.
He noted that their efforts as a Government paid off in 2018 when the world bank adjudged Abia State as one the 5 most improved states on the ease of doing business ranking, noting that the recognition has spurred them to put more efforts to ensure that the State continues to improve the business environment.
He informed that the establishment of the Ministry of SME Development, Abia Standard and Quality Management Agency, Abia PPP and Investment Agency are all statements in this light, establishment of an MSME one stop shop speaks volume of their desire to aggressively provide the enabling and supportive platform for MSMEs and indeed businesses to access any kind of support and assistance needed to transact effectively.
In their contributions, representatives from MDAs, including, Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Panning, Transportation, Small and Media Scale Enterprises, Justice among others, gave insights as to what their ministries are doing to enhance ease of doing business in Abia.
Meanwhile, participants at the event including: the President Abia State Coalition of Business Groups and Association of Nigeria, Dr Amb. Darlington Kalu and the President, Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State, Mr Williams Okechukwu, identified power outage and poor road network in Aba as encumbrances in ease of doing business in Aba while also calling on the government to improve in this direction.
Newsbuka.com reports that captains of industries, MDAs, Abians, the academia were present at the One Day Sensitization and Interactive Session on the World Bank Assisted Saber Project.