The Imo State government has said it would partner with the Chinese Government in the areas of tourism, agriculture, industrialization, social housing and integrated infrastructure development in the State.
The newly posted Liaison Officer to Imo Liaison Office Lagos, Hon. Anthony Abili made this known in a courtesy call to the Consular-General of The Peoples Republic of China in Lagos, lask week.
He explained that the visit was to familiarize himself with the Consulate and deliver the good-wishes of the good people of Imo State and the governor, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to the Consular General who had only recently resumed at the Consular.
Abili who informed the Consulate of the large Human Capital resources available in Imo State, disclosed the plan of the state government to setup 5 mini industries in each of the 27 local government areas of the State and also to build an ICT Innovation Hub in Owerri “to empower the teeming youths of the state who represent a veritable repository of educated, young and vibrant skilled labour for potential investors” .
He furthered that in a bid to make the state an investment destination, Ihedioha had ensured the enthronement of good governance and sound fiscal practice with the introduction of the Treasury Single Account in the State in order to drive revenue generation, curb leakages and fight corruption in the system.”
Hon. Anthony Abili further reiterated the tourism potential of the state, pointing to the high aviation traffic at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport which is the third busiest airport in the country and has become a major gateway to other eastern cities.
He further informed the Consulate of the various cultural and historical sites that abound the State; about the many Hotels available in the capital city; Owerri and the existence of the Oguta Lake Resort and its huge tourism potentials.
In the area of Agriculture, Abili spoke about the government’s desire to resuscitate and revamp the Adapalm Plantation in Ohaji and Umuogu which boasts 4,319 hectares of palm plantation that can be used to grow the agro economy of the state.
He also informed the Consulate of the large presence of cassava farmlands and rice belts in Ideato North, Oguta and Ihitte Uboma local government areas of the state.
In concluding, Hon. Anthony Abili spoke about the willingness of the state government to listen to prospective genuine investors with verifiable capacity and introduce government policies that promote rapid investment including tax incentives where necessary.
He stressed that the state Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha remains passionate about social housing which various companies and government agencies in the Peoples Republic of China have the technology and experience to collaborate with the state government.
He said that Imo State government looked forward to opportunities for a government trade visit – involving a delegation of Imo State government officials to the Peoples’ Republic of China to explore industrialization potentials and sign MOUs.
Responding, the Consular-General, Chu maoming, represented by the Director of consular section, Sun Jinlun assured that the Peoples Republic of China are going to co-operate with Imo State government on development.
He enthused that the visit by the Liaison Officer has provided an opportunity to learn about the various collaborative opportunities available to Chinese business interests and even the Chinese government who have made a conscious decision to explore partnership opportunities with state governments in Nigeria.
He also expressed his delight that the Imo State has a lot of tourist and industrialization potentials and suggested that an investment teaser of brochure be produced which will offer such information to various Chinese Business entities whilst promising to assist the Imo government in ensuring that such investment booklet would be circulated amongst the Chinese investment community.
He equally used the opportunity to inform the Liaison Officer of the upcoming Chinese National Day Celebration which will take place in September, 2019 for which formal invitations will duly be sent to the Liaison Officer and urged the Imo State government to take advantage of this celebration to promote its investment potentials.
Furthermore, he said that there are obvious advantages for attracting Chinese Technology and industries in Imo State; as this will bridge hitherto communication gaps and encourage business and closer relationships between Peoples Republic of China and Imo State Government.
He pledged to continue to liaise fully with the Lagos Liaison Officer in order to explore opportunities for future collaboration, adding that the Chinese investors are primarily concerned about the current security situation in Nigeria but will be hoping to enjoy favourable business potentials and policies in Imo State.
He finally thanked Hon. Abili and his entourage for the visit, and communicated the willingness of the Consular General to visit Imo State in the very near future to further explore potential collaborations upon the extension of a formal invitation by His Excellency Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha.
Highlight of the visit was the presentation of a gift of a canvas picture to the Consular General by Hon. Abili on behalf of the Imo State government.
Those in attendance at the courtesy call included Mr. Naeto Chikwe, Special Assistant to the Governor, Lagos Liaison; Mrs. Ogechi Ihekweazu Esq. Ag. Director Admin. & Finance and Mrs. Chizoba Udokamma; the Information Officer.