Otti Dreams Big for Abia Economy, Initiates Industrial Innovation Park

Over 10,000 Jobs Expected to Be Generated

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With the ground breaking ceremony of Abia Industrial and Innovation Park (AIIP), Governor Alex Otti has set off what could be the catalyst for the economic growth of the state.

He underscored the huge economic benefits of the project sited on 1,000 hectares of land at Owaza, Ukwa West Local Government, saying that Abia was going to experience industrial revolution.

The governor, who was visibly excited during the groundbreaking event on Saturday, pointed out that over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs would be generated.

He explained that the AIIP “is conceived to serve as a launch pad for our economic rejuvenation, leveraging the many advantages of (its) location”.

The industrial park is located in the oil producing area of Abia hence Otti counted it as an advantage, as well as its central location between two big cities, Aba and Port Harcourt.

He also said that the location of AIIP is ideal because of “abundance of skilled labour and a secure environment for smooth and uninterrupted production and other industrial activities”.

In the speech entitled “maximizing opportunities through partnership”, the former bank executive stated that the project would unlock the economic potentials of the state.

He said: “Our vision is clear and our goal direct: we want to responsibly harness the abundant oil and gas reserves within Ukwa for the economic development of the communities within the state and the regions connected to this project location.

“At every stage of this project, even before this ground breaking ceremony, jobs will be created, local businesses would be empowered and multiple channels of economic expansion established for entrepreneurs within and outside this immediate community”.

Governor Otti laying foundation for Abia’s industrial revoluhion

 

Otti  said that the AIIP “promises to be a win-win for every stakeholder, especially the host communities that have graciously welcomed us”, adding that the investors would reap bountiful benefits.

He assured that investors would not only have a conducive business environment, but also steady power supply, nearness to raw materials, a large population of skilled and unskilled labour.

According to the Abia governor, the enormous benefits available to investors in the Abia Industrial and Innovation Park are not obtainable in any other location across West Africa.

“The agenda is to build a connected system that offers the advantage of economies of scale to businesses that would be sited here, taking advantage of a systematic network that offers endless enterprise opportunities, residential comfort, robust infrastructure,” he said.

Otti arrayed fears of attendant negative  environmental impact, assuring the host communities that government “will work with experts and industry regulators to set up clear guidelines that will drastically minimise damages to the environment”.

Similar grandiose economic projects were initiated by past governments, including the most recent Enyimba Economic City, all of which failed to materialise.

However, Otti said that his government is doing things differently in the spirit of “the new Abia” hence the AIIP would be realised and would not suffer the fate of past similar projects.

The Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, who was on hand to witness the ceremony, lauded Otti for coming up with the idea of AIIP.

He noted that the project embodied the essence of progress, innovation, and economic development adding that it would place Abia State as a hub for innovation and industrialization.

Gov Otti and Rt Hon Kalu putting heads together to make Abia great.

 

Kalu pledged his commitment to collaborate with the governor, irrespective of political leanings, to support the economic growth of Abia and create a state that would inspire a sense of pride.

“Our legislative agenda is centered around creating an environment that encourages innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainable development,” he said.

Earlier in his address, the CEO AIIP, Chinedu Onyeizu described the project as “a strategic business environment for the state to build critical capacity in the areas of manufacturing, modular refineries, establishment of LPG and CNG plants”.

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