Enugu State Targets $30bn Economy with Indonesia Trade Relations

The Enugu State Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Industry, Adaora Chukwu, has disclosed that the State has gone into partnership with the Indonesian government in the quest for the state to achieve a $30 billion economy.

She stated this on the sidelines of the Nigeria Indonesia Trade and Investment (NIITF) news conference with the theme: “Rediscovering Business Potential in Nigeria,” held in Lagos, yesterday.

According to Adaora, the government would achieve the $30 billion target through strategic partnerships and collaboration with various international and local investors to harness the various investment opportunity in the State.

She said the partnership would be a perfect avenue to showcase Enugu State’s readiness for business.

Fielding questions on the benefits of the partnership to both economies, Adaora said the forum would help to open up newer opportunities for investors, several business arrangements, trade, export arrangement between both economies and government.

She further explained that the government had adopted the Integrated Sector Growth Strategy (ISGS) model, which implied that no sector would be prioritised above another, with synergy and connections of every sector to the other.

Adaora noted that modernisation of the agric sector and strengthening of the value chain would translate into full agro-industrialisation. It would also involve the tech sector, the ICT innovation.

She stated that the State was strategically well positioned in terms of location and what it has to offer. According to her, Enugu has solid minerals, coal for example, which would begin to be explored, adding that given the power sector decentralisation, the State would be available to partner and diversify power generation to boost power supply in Enugu State.

“Nigeria hopefully will gain and attract investment, industries and capital in the partnership. And for the Indonesian government, it will be a mutual prosperity effort, while Enugu State will give expertise to some areas,” Adaora added.

In a bid to make the environment safe for businesses, she explained that the government in its first move had tackled the security challenges experienced in the state such as the illegal sit-at-home order.

Adaora noted that the state was one of the safest and most conducive for business and investment.

She also said efforts had been made to strengthen regulatory and legal framework to ensure elimination of bottlenecks to allow investors to come in.

Also speaking, the Secretary to the State Government, Enugu State, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said the move was to also spur trade activities between both countries, explore the myriad of investment opportunities in the state across key sectors such as energy, power and transport sector.

The SSG noted that the state in Nigeria’s historical context, played a pivotal role in catalysing economic growth by serving the energy needs of the nation and beyond.

He added that its abundant mineral resources, fertile lands with rich plantations supporting production of the best cashew, sorghum, rice, cassava, and other agricultural species placed Enugu as a vantage investment destination.

Onyia pointed out that the state’s breath-taking natural landscapes presented viable investment opportunities in eco-tourism, while its predominantly youthful population provided a wealth of human capital.

“Enugu is blessed with untapped natural gas reserves and our vast natural gas reserves have imposed a responsibility on Enugu to drive the Nigerian green economy transition.

“I am happy to announce that Enugu is one of the first states to attract investment in CNG-powered buses and the state has the potential to be a leader in the clean industries of tomorrow.

“Enugu State is a vital trade and investment gateway into the southeast region as it boasts of a multi-modal transport infrastructure to support trade activities between the South-eastern region, Northern Nigeria, as well as the rest of Africa,” he said.

Furthermore, Onyia said the state’s economic transformation plan underscored a three-pronged strategy of boosting sector productivity, reforming key state institutions, and creating cross-cutting social sector programmes and services.

He revealed that the state’s vision under the Peter Mbah-led administration was to make Enugu one of the top three revenue-generating states in Nigeria and to attain a zero per cent poverty headcount rate.

Onyia added that the administration was committed to ensuring peace and security in the sprint to grow Enugu’s economy exponentially from a 4.4 billion dollars Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to a $30 billion GDP economy in the next eight years.

“Our mission is to make Enugu the preferred destination for investment, business, tourism and living in Nigeria. Enugu State will become Nigeria’s most remarkable success story driven by industrialisation and structural economic transformation, responsible public financial management, robust growth in trade and investment, and sustainable and inclusive infrastructural development,” he said.

Onyia pledged that the newly signed State Electricity Act by Governor Peter Mbah would be beneficial to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), further foster business competitiveness and expand the ecosystem across the state.

He said bottlenecks inimical to investments growth and profitability within the state were being addressed to further derisk the investment climate in the state.

The president, Nigeria Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI), Ishmael Balogun, said the partnership showcased the potential to do more, pointing out that areas of focus in the partnership included, but not limited to manufacturing, renewable energy, power generation, infrastructure development, health, agriculture, transportation, mining and digital economy.