Gov Otti Performs Groundbreaking Ceremony For Abia Industrial Innovation Park

Gov Otti Performs Groundbreaking Ceremony For Abia Industrial Innovation Park

…Promises Massive Economic Development.

Abia state Governor, Dr Alex Otti has officially performed the groundbreaking for the Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP) at Owaza Ukwa West Local Government Area of the state with a promise of massive economic development for the state among others.

 

The over 1000 hectares of land earmarked for the project in the three oil-rich communities of Owaza, Uzuaku and Okohia will house manufacturing concerns such as technology innovation center, modern vehicle Assembly plant, Power generation plant, LNG & CNG tank farms as well as Haulage and Warehousing facilities.

Others include agricultural storage and processing facilities, modular refinery, Mini seaport, sports kits and equipment production facility as well as a carbon-neutral residential estate.

 

Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Otti described the event as a watershed moment in the economic history of Abia State noting that the AIIP is conceived to serve as a launch pad for Abia’s economic rejuvenation.

 

The Governor noted the state would leverage on the many advantages of the project, including the oil and gas deposits, nearness to Aba and Port Harcourt cities, abundance of skilled labour and a secure environment for smooth and uninterrupted production and other industrial activities.

He said; “All necessary approvals will also be sought for the designation of the Park as an export processing and free trade zone. AIIP is poised to make history as the first cluster in Nigeria, where LPG, CNG, Jet fuel, PMS and Diesel production tank farms will be co-located with other supporting infrastructure for more efficient and commercial production of our own made-in-Nigeria liquid fuel. “This will help eliminate the liquid fuel scarcity problems in the country.

 

“What we have done in the last few months is to build trust amongst stakeholders; we shall henceforth proceed with speed, ensuring that the massive goodwill this project has garnered is sustained and within a very reasonable length of time. Even those who doubt us would come to see that this is not just another white elephant project or a political gambit.

See also  Obi Advocates Prayers For Government Officials

 

“Our vision is clear and our goal direct: we want to responsibly harness the abundant oil and gas reserves within Ukwa for the economic development of the communities within, the state and the regions connected to this project location”.

 

He emphasized that the project would create job opportunities, with local businesses empowered while multiple channels of economic expansion would be established for entrepreneurs within and outside the immediate community.

He clarified that the Industrial Park project is different from similar ideas and proposals presented by previous administrations in Abia which did not see the light of the day, assuring that his government would hit the ground running to achieve timely completion of the project.

 

“At the end of this groundbreaking ceremony, the bulldozers, payloaders and other earth-moving equipment would go to work; you shall start seeing evidence of serious commitment on the part of the government and the concerned stakeholders”, Governor Otti assured.

 

The Governor who noted that the Ukwa land has suffered untold neglect in the past two decades and more promised that “the Abia Industrial and Innovation Park shall exploit the oil and gas wealth in Owaza to drive the socio-economic development of all of Ukwa and assured the host community that his government will keep to its part of the bargain.

He used the opportunity to disclose that his administration is working on several proposals to set up agro-processing hubs in all LGAs of the State focusing extensively on what is produced most within the communities.

 

In his address, Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, emphasized that the AIIP project embodies the essence of progress, innovation, and economic development adding that it is a transformative journey aimed at sustaining economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and positioning Abia State as a hub for innovation and industrialization.

See also  Akwa Ibom govt justifies Bulk purchase policy, tasks farmers on maximizing opportunities

Kalu pledged commitment to collaborate with the Governor, regardless of political affiliations, and assured that the federal government would partner with the state to ensure the sustainability of industrialization initiatives such as the AIIP project which is in line with it’s renewed hope agenda.

 

The Deputy speaker emphasized that the economic and trade policy reforms by the federal government is aimed at creating a favourable business environment, designed to stimulate investments and unlock the nation’s potential which he said aligns with the Abia State government’s project led by Dr. Alex Otti.

 

“The 10th National Assembly under the leadership of the speaker and myself as deputy speaker have been working tirelessly to augment these reforms with legislative actions that support economic growth and development.

“We understand that a conducive legislative framework is critical to the success of initiatives such as the AIIP. Our legislative agenda is centered around creating an environment that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development.

 

“We are actively working on bills and policies aimed at promoting SMEs and ease of doing business that attract both local and foreign investments”, Kalu stated.

 

Kalu while commending Governor Otti for his commitment to improving the lives of Abians, emphasized that Abia State’s industrialization is not just a dream but a well-thought-out strategy aligned with national goals of self-sufficiency and economic prosperity.

 

He noted that the partnership between federal and state governments and all stakeholders involved in the project is a testament to their collective commitment to progress.

 

In their separate remarks, the Representatives of Shell Petroleum, Mr Osagie Osumbo, Executive Director Total Energies, Mr Obi Imeremba and the Representative of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Mr. Morgan Umahi lauded Governor Otti for the laudable initiative aptly cited in a major hub for entrepreneurship and local manufacturing and added that the AIIP will be a melting point for industrialization and development of Abia state with its enormous potentials.

See also  Expedite Action On Greater Aba Master Plan, Otti Tasks UN-Habitat Team

 

They assured that they will collaborate with the Abia state government and offer support for the transformational project which they said would witness an influx of investors to the zone.

 

The Commissioner for Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Prof. Joel Ogbonna, said that the park would provide limitless investment opportunities that would impact all sectors of the state’s economy and called for “all hands to be on deck”, adding that collaborative efforts of stakeholders would play a significant role in actualisation of the project.

 

The Chief Executive Officer of AIIP, Mr Chinedu Onyeizu, said that the park would serve as a strategic business environment that would lay a solid foundation for a renewed Abia and added that the park would accelerate economic development of the Abia in line with the policy thrust of the government to promote creation of generational wealth and massive industrial advancement.

 

Also, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Local Content Development and Monitoring Board, Mr Simbi Wambote, said that manufacturing remains the only way to reposition the economy.

 

“This project is well thought out and this will give Abia its rightful position as a manufacturing hub.

“We will work with you ‘hand in glove’ to share our knowledge and experience with you to ensure that it is a success,” Wambote said