Otti Seeks US Support To Boost Abia Economy

 

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has appealed to the United States Consulate for assistance in bolstering trade, investment, and various sectors of economy in the State.

Governor Otti who made the appeal during a meeting with the Political and Economic Section Chief of the US Consulate in Lagos, Mike Ervin, outlined several challenges facing the state, including issues with access to finance, power supply, and logistics support for the digital economy.

The Governor expressed optimism about resolving the power supply issue in Aba with the imminent commissioning of the Geometric Power Plant by the presidency on February 26, 2024.

He emphasized Abia’s significance as a major trading and industrial hub in Nigeria, with over 50,000 entrepreneurs engaged in shoe manufacturing, fabrics and garment production.

The Governor while highlighting the state’s efforts in infrastructure rehabilitation, particularly in Aba, which has encouraged businesses to return, called for US assistance in addressing the power problem and ensuring access to finance.

See also  Fubara Confirms Alikor As Substantive CMD, RSUTH, Set To Revive Zonal Hospitals

He suggested potential collaboration to mitigate risks associated with foreign currency funding.

“In the past we have suffered quite some set backs because of infrastructural decay, you really can not do much when infrastructure is not there,that is why when we came, we started pursuing the rejuvenation and rehabilitation of infrastructure in particular, roads, drainages, not forgetting security.

“In the last 8 months, we have been able to fix many roads in Aba which is also the industrial and trading hub of Abia state.

“You can come in as United States to assist us. If we solve the power problem, then there’s another problem which is access to finance and these days of expensive dollar, people are running away from foreign currency funding.

“I believe we can sit down and think out process whereby,even if it is for government to provide a guarantee and help against fluctuations in the foreign currency price, so that our people can be sure of support that they can pay back”, Governor Otti stated.

See also  Abia Assembly Confirms ASUBEB Appointments Amidst Calls for Regional Balance and Road Safety Concerns

The Political and Economic Section Chief of the US Consulate in Lagos, Mike Ervin, in his remarks earlier, while reiterating their mission to enhance bilateral trade and investment between the United States and Nigeria, said “the US consulate in Lagos cover the 17 southern states and our top job more than any other, is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and expand shared prosperity between our people”.

“Our people share a long history of partnership and that was highlighted by the visit of our Secretary of state ,Anthony Blinkin in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago where he spoke very eloquently and strongly on the significance and importance of US- NIGERIA bilateral relationship and our desire is to seek ways of expanding that relationship to build prosperity for our people”.

He commended Governor Otti for fostering discussions on building shared prosperity between the Us and Abia State and emphasized the importance of the US-Nigeria bilateral relationship.

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