Exhibition and Discussion: Bringing Nnewi automotive industrial park to the fore

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Nnewi automotive industrial park stakeholders roundtable and trade fair summit marks the beginning of the realization of Nnewi automotive Industrial park.

In attendance were HRM Igwe Kenneth Orizu , Mr. Nkem Okeke, deputy governor Anambra state, Hon Chris Azubogu, deputy chairman house committee on appropriation , Nnewi North/south/usogo federal constituency, Anambra state.

Ms. Yewande Sadiku (CEO Nigerian Investment Promotion Comission), Engr. Ajulu Uzodike, Mr. Lotanna Okoli, Mrs. Ijeoma Ezeasor, Engr.Aminu Jalal, former DG of the National Automotive Desgn and Development (NADDC) among other dignitaries were also present .

In a welcome address presented by the president chamber of commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NCCIMA), Engr. Linus O. Ilozue, he said ; “today’s event which is a round table discussion on the realization of Nnewi automotive industrial park and the exhibition of micro auto parts and allied products made in Nnewi, is like a prayer answered” .

#Nnewiautomotivetradefair2018 attracted by Hon Azubogu is an engagement with leading global vehicles and automotive components manufacturers.
All items displayed are being produced in Nnewi, some of these items are:

Wheel covers, oil filter, tire, fuel filter, exhaust hose,brake pads,tubes,fan belts, batteries, gears,head lamp covers, side mirrors,brakelight covers,piston and rings, trafficator light covers, brake lining,engine block etc. Needless to say, Innoson vehicles were also displayed.

Mr. Nkem Okeke, deputy governor Anambra state lauded Innoson Chukwuma saying that he has done one of the greatest things in Nigeria. He insisted that the business is growing bigger than Innoson alone can manage while reemphasizing on the need to establish an automotive industrial park and integrate more people in that line.He also thanked Hon Azunogu for his efforts ,encouraged him to do more.

Hon. Mark Okoye who spoke on incentives needed to encourage investment , said that investment promotion in Anambra and Nigeria is not good. Narrating how difficult it was for erstwhile gov. Peter Obi to bring in Sabmiller to Anambra, he had difficulties convincing them that there is no bokoharam in Anambra and there is adequate security in the state while assuring them that their investment is safe in Anambra state, Nigeria.

Also, he said that power is critical for production and investment.

He queried why we should have a son of Anambra in charge of EDDC and still not enjoy adequate power supply, consequently he encouraged all and sundry who are in a position to help , to please help promote investment in the state and Nigeria at large.

The last but not the least speaker, Ijeoma Ezeasor spoke mainly on private investment/investor . She expressed dissatisfaction over how local investors are ignored in Nigeria. You can imagine how bad local investors feel when Nigerian government go to Russia, China, Japan looking for investors who are not coming, she said. Why can’t we encourage local investors in Nnewi she queried?

We must improve investment policy she insisted. There must be a high level engagement for stake holders.

According to her, access to finance to the big boys is not the same as access to finance to the small boys. While the big boys are looking for billions there are people who need just 1milion naira to start up their business.We should look into some of these constraints and regulate policies where necessary.

The event brought together critical stakeholders including various government agencies such as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) , Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). Salient points were raised, critical questions were asked and well thought answers were given.
Truly, for a city known to be the “Japan of Africa” Nnewi automotive industrial park is long overdue.

Sharon Oparaocha

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