Economic Development Of The South Eastern Region Of Nigeria
The South Eastern Region of Nigeria is a zone populated predominantly by the Igbo people. It consists of five states Anambra named after the Anambra/Omambala River, Imo named also after the Imo River, Enugwu which was the capital of the defunct Eastern Region and named because of the settlers who were lured to the ancient city due to it’s coal deposits found in the hills, Abia named after the five zones of the former Abia State(Afikpo, Bende, Isikwuato and Aba) and Ebonyi. The total estimated population of this zone is about 30 million. Due to lack of infrastructural development and small landmass which enhances the economic wellbeing of it’s inhabitants due to the Nigerian Civil War, most of her indigenes have migrated to other geopolitical zones where they have dominated the business landscape of their host communities.
The South Eastern zone is predominantly landlocked, lacks access to the sea for importation and exportation of goods, bad interstate roads which are deathtraps among other critical infrastructure which has failed to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of it’s citizens.
However the zone has massive potentials which if developed can accelerate the GDP of the zone to over a $100 billion.
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE SOUTH EAST
The current administration of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has decided that Aba which is the home of creativity as regards leather, garment and mettalurgical products must create local products with global appeal hence his Made In Aba campaign. To boost the industrialization agenda of Aba, Independent Gas Powered Plants have been established at Osisioma, Aba by Geometric Power which is owned by a former Minister of Science and Technology as well as Power; Prof Barth Nnaji and the Alaoji Gas Plant. . The State government has established an Industrial Leather and Garmet City at Umukalika, Obingwa L.G.A which will be the biggest cluster for leather and garment manufacturers who are 110,000 and 50,000 respectively.
The Aba finished leather sector, said to be the biggest in West Africa, with about 50,000 people directly engaged in the manufacture of shoes, belts and bags and a production capacity of about one million pairs of shoes per week, currently produces for local and international markets, although unofficially.
Aba made shoes and other finished leather products are popular in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and other West and East African countries.
Also an agreement with Crown Realties Ltd has been signed to develop the Enyinmba Free Trade and Industrial Zone integrates industrial production, marketing, warehousing, logistics, leisure, residential accommodation, schools, hospitals and entertainment centres, among other facilities.
Eastgate Inland Container Terminal Limited has signed a tripartite agreement with the state government and the Nigerian Shippers Council to establish the very first Inland Container Terminal in Abia State at Avor Ntigha, Isiala Ngwa North LGA which will now make it possible to offload containers of goods exported into the country in Abia State. When fully operational, the port is expected to boost business transactions in the South East and de¬congest Onne and Port Wharfs. The proposed project which is a 50,000 TEU (containers) port facility, will serve Aba, Onitsha, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta and Benue states. The port would receive containerised cargo by rail or road from Port Harcourt.
In Arochukwu there exist abundant deposits of limestone in commercial quantity which cement companies can mine, process and produce cement which will boost the socio economic development of the community and state creating jobs and reducing crime. In Ukwa axis there exist rich deposits of oil and gas in commercial quantities which can be used to lure developers of modular refineries, gas processing and petrochemical plants to create jobs and boost the local economy.
The Azumini Blue River which is the only one in the country at Isikwuato L.G.A can be developed to become a world class resort via a Public Private Partnership with reputable investors in the hospitality industry. Also the relics of Arochukwu Slave Routes and Ibini Ukpabi(Long Juju) and Uturu Caves can be developed to become world class tourist attractions with resorts that will attract tourists from all over the world. There are ongoing plans by the State Government to develop a seaport at Obuaku, Ukwa West LGA, and the site lies by the Azumini River that flows into the Atlantic Ocean. And what is more, since it is just five nautical miles from the Ocean it qualifies technically as a seaport, not a river port, going by the UN’s laws.
The following below are investment opportunities open to investors in the agriculture industry in Abia State.
- ABIA GOLDEN CHICKEN LIMITED, OGWE, UKWA EAST
Land Area –360 Hc
Project – Poultry Production
- ABIA LIVESTOCK FARM, OKOKO ITEM, BENDE LG.A
Land Area – 75Hc
Project – Poultry production, Cattle, Piggery, Sheep and Goat Rearing, Honey Production, Fishery and sundry related products.
- ABIA CASHEW COMPANY, MBALA, ISUOCHI, UMUNNEOCHI
Land Area – 160Hc Planted, 28Hc Fallow Project Cashew Nut, by-product Production
- ABIA COCOA ESTATE, AGBAOZU, UZUAKOLI, BENDE
Land Area – 220Hc
Projects –Cocoa and Cocoa Beans Production
- ABIA FARM, LODU NDUME, UMUAHIA NORTH
Projects – Fish Production,
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