By Ruth Oginyi
President General of Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Dr Nnia Nwodo and Chairman, South East Governors Forum, Engr David Umahi, Tuesday called on Ndigbo to invest in Igbo land.
Nnia Nwodo and Gov Umahi made the call during Ebonyi Business Forum and the signing of business agreement with Chief Executive Officers of business conglomerates in the country including Computer Village Association, Lagos; Silverbird Group and others in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.
Dr. Nwodo emphasized the need for the people of the zone to go into agriculture which he described as the way to go.
Nwodo commended Gov. Umahi for bringing rapid development to the state despite the meagre allocation from federal government to the state.
“I am aware that Ebonyi receives the lowest allocation and I am sure that the internally generated revenue will as well be very low. Yet, I have not seen the degree of infrastructure Umahi has built in Ebonyi anywhere else in the country. Commenting the state-of-art Ecumenical Centre built by Gov. Umahi, he said:
“I have not seen this kind of building anywhere else.Our people should come back home and invest. We should go into agriculture and digital technology where the world is going to. We must turn our Igboland into Catalonia of Spain, into what Bayern is to Germany. If you go to Spain, you can’t go into business without Catalonia; if you go to Germany, you can’t do any business without Bayern.
“Onitsha and Aba markets in Anambra and Abia are almost coming to that. Here in Ebonyi, the governor is almost turning the state into Bayern of Igboland because of the phenomenal growth the state has recorded under the present administration in the state,” Nwodo stated.
In his remarks, the State Governor, David Umahi said he had created enabling environment for businesses to excel and investors to invest in the state.
He disclosed that 24 Chinese investors had indicated interest in investing in the state and have obtained shops at the newly constructed shopping mall in the state which he said has the capacity to employ over 25,000 unemployed youths.
“In Ebonyi, we have a law and this law has tied our government up and down, that you will not be afraid of any investment. No government policy can affect any investment in Ebonyi state.
“Even the mall, even though we are renting the mall per month but the agreement we are signing for anybody taking the mall is for 99 years. Every five years, we look at the rate to review it. I will not be afraid to say that for Ebonyians who are born here, I will give them concession,” he stated.
Prince Tony Nweze from Computer Village, Lagos, on his part, noted that what is happening in Ebonyi State now is like what is happening in China. “In China, the infrastructure you see today, in a week’s time, you see a mightier one capable of making one miss his way”.
He assured Umahi that they would help his government actualize his dream of building the shopping mall.
Prof. Igwe Achebe (Obi of Onitsha) said:”I am pleased with what is happening in Ebonyi and that’s why I went through the stress of going back to Anambra from Ebonyi and coming back today.