Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ebonyi State recently heaved a sigh of relief following the disbursement of N4 billion soft loans to entrepreneurs in the state by the state governor, David Nweze Umahi.  The disclosure was made during the Ebonyi Day at the on-going 32nd Lagos International Trade Fair at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Lagos.

In his address, the governor of the state, David Umahi, who was represented by the commissioner for commerce and industry, Ugo Nnachi ,rolled out the different projects the current administration in the state has done which have so far made the state an investor’s haven.

The event also had in attendance, the president Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Babatunde Ruwase, the permanent secretary, Ebonyi State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and Valentine Okike-Uzo, a honourable member from Ebonyi State House of Assembly.

“Following the premium posture of placing industrialisation and commercialisation of Ebonyi State on the world map, His Excellency, Governor David Umahi radically and boldly opened up the state to an international level; make it an economically viable state, conducive for foreign and local investors; a cosmopolitan state where everybody would happily and freely carry out his or her legitimate trades.

“The Salt of the nation is a major and lucrative stip-over city and a strategic in-road into the Central African markets, thus giving a good exposure to the state’s major crops, natural and minerals resources, including the very lucrative numerous tourist and hospitality centres, infrastructural developments and general services, ultimately attesting to the industrial and commercial readiness of the state”, the state said through notes distributed to stakeholders at the event.

Ebonyi State Government further justified why the state is ready for business indicating factors such as pro-business policies, dynamic and vibrant business environment and the proximity to Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu which makes Ebonyi readily accessible to local and international investors.

Ugo Nnachi further added that the Abakaliki International Ultra Modern Market located along the Ogoja highway stands out as one of the major achievements of the current administration in the state.  The complex has about 7,000 lock-up shops, 15 storey buildings, trade centres and banks. Others are the Ebonyi State Pipes Production Company which produces according to global standards; Ebonyi State incubation centres, among others.

“The strategic thrust of agriculture in the state is anchored on three pillars-professionalism, mechanisation and commercialisation. It is based on one man-one hectare project and about 10,000 civil servants have been empowered along our agro-based projects”, Ugo Nnachi, Ebonyi State commissioner for commerce and industry said.

“Rice production in the state is for both local consumption and export. We have acquired relevant farm tools to aid rice production in the state and our rice is in high demand all over the nation”, Nnachi added.

Source: BusinessDay