Abia Global Economic Advisory Council inaugurated, Sanusi, Oteh, Bolaji co-chairs

He expressed optimism that this Council can help the government achieve its vision in the next 24 months.

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Abia Global Economic Advisory Council inaugurated, Sanusi, Oteh, Bolaji co-chairs
Dr. Alex Otti, Abia State Governor

Gov. Alex Otti of Abia has inaugurated the Abia Global Economic Advisory Council, with a charge to evolve initiatives that are focused on identifying, capitalising and showcasing the state’s area of comparative advantage.

Speaking on Thursday during the event at the Government House,Umuahia, Otti said that the caliber of individuals that make up the council speaks to the state’s vision.

The Governor added that this development had  sent a strong signal to potential investors that “Abia is poised to become the next big thing”.

BRANDPOWER reports that Otti said that the government was desirous to make Abia a preferred investment destination for global businesses, hence the move to set up a council of intellectual giants that would work closely with the government to turn the vision into reality.

He also said that the council would  work with the government and other local stakeholders, including the local chambers of commerce, industry, mines and agriculture, to bring these opportunities to the attention of the investing global community.

He expressed optimism that the Abia Global Economic Advisory Council can help the government achieve its vision in the next 24 months.

Otti said: “We are not just seeking to attract a few big manufacturing outfits in the State to score cheap political points.

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“Our ultimate goal is to re-make the entire State into a robust enterprise ecosystem with clear pathways to bigger global and regional markets.

“We are keen to transform our traditional agro-economy to become a major player in the global agricultural value chain, producing sufficient output to feed the local population and then for export.

“In Aba, we do not just make quality footwear and clothing; given the right support, our shoemakers and fashion designers can compete with the best anywhere in the world.

“Aba is also very strong on metal fabrication, wood works and mechanical construction, sadly, the immense potential of our people has stayed hidden and under-utilised for far too long.

“The good thing is that we now have an effective machinery to create a new era of prosperity, employment and layers of opportunities for these resilient and creative individuals.”

In her remarks, a Co-Chair of the Council, Miss Arunma Oteh, commended the present administration for its numerous achievements in the past seven months.

Oteh described Abia as a land blessed with countless opportunities, adding that harnessing  these opportunities would foster socioeconomic growth in the state.

She said that she was delighted to serve the people of Abia and promised to give her best.

“I pray that whatever we do as a council in collaboration with the government will contribute in a significant way to transform Abia,”Oteh said.

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Another Co-Chair of the Council, Mr Bolaji Balogun, thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve the people of Abia.

Balogun urged the state government to focus on maximising its human resources through innovation, infrastructure and education in order to record  significant development and become a major contributor to the development of the nation.

Also, the former Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido,  said that Investors need to be given strong assurance that their investments would be secure and profitable.

Lamido therefore urged the governor to market the state to investors and as a member of the national economic council contribute to the evolving of “sensible economic policies”.

In their separate speeches, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gen. Ike Nwachukwu and a former Minister of Finance, Dr Kalu Idika Kalu, charged the council to live up to expectation in the discharge of its duty.

They also urged the Governor to ensure that the pieces of advice he would receive from the council would be implemented.

In his speech, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Kingsley Anosike, said that the government was determined to establish a responsible and accountable system that would foster socioeconomic growth in Abia.

Anosike added that the government would explore the state’s areas of comparative advantage to build a competitive and sustainable economy.

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Earlier, the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Mr Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, said that fiscal discipline in planning and expenditure remains the guiding principle in all government transactions.

Mba-Uzoukwu said that the setting up of the council had further showed  the government’s commitment towards rebuilding the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports members of the council include Mr Victor Onyenkpa, Mrs Ifueko Omoigui Okauru, Mr Chidi Ajaegbu, Mr Uche Orji, Mrs Ndidi Nwuneli, Mr Chika Nwobi and Dr Olugbenga Adesida.

Others are  Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe, Mr Clement Owunna, Dr Uzodinma Iweala, Mrs Ezinwa Okoroafor, Mr George Agu, Mr Uzo Nwankwo, Mr Chinedu Azodoh,  Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Dr Benedict Oramah.

NAN further reports that five members of  the State Executive Council, will represent the government on the Advisory Council.

They include Gov. Alex  Otti, the  Attorney-General and Honourable Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ikechukwu Uwanna; the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr Kingsley Anosike; the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Michael Akpara and the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Dr Chimezie Isaac Ukaegbu.