Monday, 3 October 2016

Anambra State holds international investment summit in Johannesburg



By Rita Ejesieme

Recently, several eminent Nigerians and South Africans converged on
the Protea Wanderers Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa.
They were there to participate in the Anambra State International
Investment & Tourism Summit (AIITS),

The event, attended by a number of investors and other stakeholders,
was a forum to ventilate ideas and discuss the Anambra State
Government’s agricultural and industrial revolution.

Dr. Charles Okereke, Chief Executive Officer of Legendary Digest, a
leading investment and tourism magazine based in the state, was the
chief organiser of the summit. In his opening address, he commended
the vision of the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano, noting that the
governor was determined to turn Anambra State to the Dubai of Africa.
He said Obiano’s vision was what motivated him to identify with the
governor’s investment drive.

Okereke, a cleric and geoscientist, said his media outfit would
continue to sell Anambra State to the world through the quarterly
publication of the magazine as well as through the international
investment summit which he said would be on rotational basis.
Representative of Governor Obiano at the event, Stella Onuorah, a
lawyer, said the governor was committed to achieving a new Anambra
State that would become the envy of all.

Onuorah, who is Anambra State Commissioner for Diaspora Matters,
Culture and Tourism, said the government was grateful to the
organisers just as she assured the gathering of government’s continued
partnership and support.
Consul-General of the Nigerian Consulate in Johannesburg, Ambassador
Uche Ajulu-Okeke
delivered the keynote address at the event. She noted that the
economic policy of the state government being promoted by the
governor, Chief Willie Obiano, was to, among others, stimulate
economic growth, create jobs and turn the state into an urban area
through a sustained drive for profitability. She explained that the
Anambra State Investment Promotion & Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) was
an outcome of that effort.

The diplomat, who is a member of the Governing Council of ANSIPPA,
lauded the Legendary Digest for supporting the state’s investment
drive, even as she urged intending investors and prospective partners
with the state government to subscribe to the publication.
In his paper on investment opportunities in Anambra State, Chief
Executive Officer of ANSIPPA, Hon. Joe Billy Ekwunife asked all
genuine investors and stakeholders to take advantage of the incentives
provided by the state government and invest in the many untapped
resources that abound in the state. These, he noted, included the
Ogbunike Cave, Owelle- Ezukala Cave & Waterfalls, and the Igbo Ukwu
Museum, among others.

Ekwunife said ANSIPPA was a deliberate creation of the government to
facilitate the repositioning of Anambra State as the first choice
investment destination and preferred location for new industries in
Nigeria. He said the agency was committed to helping the governor make
a huge success of his four-point agenda in agriculture,
industrialization, trade and commerce and oil and gas. He said all
bureaucratic bottlenecks had been dismantled, insisting that
“investment agreements can now be finalised while you wait in the
coffee room.”
CEO of South Africa/Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Mrs Diana Games
expressed delight at the opportunities provided by the initiative. She
was optimistic that the platform would assist in strengthening the
solid business tie that already existed between Nigeria and South
Africa.

In attendance were captains of industries, members of the South
Africa/Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, diplomats, people from the
academia, including Dr. Nkem Mbamel of the City University, New York,
Minister, Trade & Investment at the Nigeria High Commission, Pretoria,
Okee Nze and Kwanele Ndlovu of Doctors Without Borders.

The occasion was rounded off with the presentation of different
categories of awards to some of the eminent personalities at the
event. Governor Obiano, Commissioner for Diaspora Matters, Culture and
Tourism, Stella Onuorah, CEO of ANSIPPA, Hon. Joe Billy Ekwunife,
Consul General of the Nigeria Consulate, Ambassador Uche Ajulu-Okeke
and Prof H. Uzoegbu of the Wits University all received awards for
leadership. Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Veronica Obiano was
also garlanded for her role in empowering many women across the state.
Others that also received awards were Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, Prince
Arthur Eze and Dr. Cosmas Maduka. They all got Entrepreneurship
Awards. Willy Okpara, the Nigeria International, was given the Soccer
Ambassador Award. Mazi Wisdom Edward Okoli was honoured with an award
as the first Nigerian commercial farmer in South Africa while Chief
Emeka Ekwealor, a business mogul and Director of Legendary Digest, was
also honoured with an award.
Presenting the vote of thanks, Chief Emeka Ekwealor, an international
businessman, thanked the participants for the attendance. He pledged
that the Legendary Digest would be fully supportive of the Anambra
State Governor in the pursuit of his vision for a new Anambra State.

Editor of the magazine, Mazi Ben Benson-Okoli , who spoke with
journalists after the event, assured that his team would continue to
be fair and objective.

“We will be meticulous in the research, assemblage and presentation of
the various elements that will combine to give our publication a
unique look,” he asserted.

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