… Governor Obiano pledges inclusive, sustainable economic growth
… Obi of Onitsha attended and stayed for the duration of the roundtable
… Eze Uzu of Awka arrived late, ADUN leaders absent
By Ndu Chris Nwannah, Awka Times Guest Writer
The 3rd Anambra Business and Investment Roundtable has ended in the State Capital, Awka with Governor Willie Obiano saying that insights from the deliberations will set his administration on the path to building a socially stable and business friendly environment.
The 2019 Roundtable with the theme, “Beyond Infrastructure: Rethinking the Future was held at Governor’s Lodge, Ugom – Awka, on 25th November 2019.
The first Business Summit took place in 2018 and was convened by the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA with the theme, “Consolidating on the Vision”. It was followed by the second Anambra Business Roundtable in New York City on 25th September and Washington DC on 26th September 2019. It had the theme, “Finding Diamonds in the Rough”.
The event at Governor’s Lodge, Awka drew dignitaries, such as government officials, investors, entrepreneurs, academics, traditional rulers and leaders. The presence of the Chairman, Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, the Eze Uzu 11 of Awka kingdom, Obi Gibson Nwosu and other community leaders boosted the roundtable. However, the Awka Development Union Nigeria, ADUN officials were absent from this event meant to set the tone for the infrastructural development of the state and its capital city.
Stakeholders who spoke to the gathering were the Chairman Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, Chairman ANSIPPA, Ike Chioke, and the Managing Director/CEO, ANSIPPA, Jide Ikeako.
Those who spoke on Education and Health were the Vice President, Policy and Partnership, Bridge International Academies, Mrs Adesuwa Ifedi, Doctor Sade Adebanjo of Healthcare Fusion Ltd., Executive Secretary of ANSIPPA, Doctor Ifediora Amobi, Anthony Nader of Tanit Medical Engineering Ltd., Health Economist with WHO, Doctor Francis Ukwuije, State Commissioner for Health, Doctor Vincent Okpala and Commissioner for Basic Education, Professor Kate Omenugha.
The ICT and Creative Industry drew experts such as Emeka Mba of Questech Media, Chika Nwobi, Peace Anyiam-Osigwe of Africa Academy Movie Awards, Pius Okigbo Jr. of InfoSoft Nigeria Ltd., Mary Njoku of ROK Studios and Uzoechina Chuma of The Bigpicture LLC.
Tourism and Hospitality was handled by Ikechi Uko of Jedidah Promotions, Nicholas Okoye of Sahel Agribusiness, Valentine Ozigbo, President/Group CEO, Transcorp Plc., Amaechi Ndili, President/CEO, Golden Tulip West Africa, Gabriel Onah, Chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission and Lolo Ngozi Ngoka, Vice President, South East Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, FTAN.
Professionals who contributed to the Infrastructure and Housing sector were Doctor Innocent Okpanum, Macaulay Atasie, Doctor Chukwueloka Umeh of Century Power Generation, Doctor Goodluck Enimakpokpo of GE Africa, Emmanuel Stefanakis, Mrs Kene Eneh, Divisional CEO ipNX Retail and Chimmy Ogbuebile, Group Business Development Director, M-P Infrastructure.
In a welcome address, Governor Willie Obiano said that his government would not relent in making the state the first choice investment destination hub for industrialization to help investments to thrive in the area.
While expatiating on the theme, Governor Obiano noted that it was aimed at engendering inclusive and more sustainable economic growth, demographic change, ongoing digital revolution among other development issues.
The governor expressed his administration’s commitment to building a strong and prosperous state not only from riches that lie beneath the soil but essentially from the infinite possibilities that lie between our ears. He maintained that meaningful investment would not thrive without robust investments in the security sector.
The Chairman of ANSIPA, Mr Ike Chioke expressed the hope that the deliberations would set the people well on the path to building a more social stable, business friendly environment that would attract foreigners to explore the state’s wealth creating opportunities.
The event featured panel sessions and remarks by leading industrialists, including Chief Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Group, Dr Ifeanyi Okoye of Juhel Nigeria Ltd., and Dr Stanley Uzochukwu of Stanel Group.
Two of the lead discussants, Mrs Adesuwa Ifedi and Dr Sade Adebanjo, stressed that the future of Africa depended on improved education, healthcare, security, tourism, ICT and the creative industry.
The Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Doctor Nkem Okeke featured on the occasion, while a former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and Chairman Anambra Vision 2070, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, spoke on the 50-Year Development Plan of the government. Igwe Alfred Achebe of Onitsha sat through the entire event sandwiched between Governor Obiano and Prof Soludo who is expected to be a strong contender as the next governor of Anambra State.
The Anambra Business and Investment Roundtable is an initiative of ANSIPPA, which was set up by Governor Willie Obiano with the mission to create an incentive focused investment climate to attract investors to Anambra State.