By G9ija

Fulfilled by the remarkable feats his administration has recorded in business investment development, ICT innovation and creativity, start-ups, product acceleration and wealth creation for Enugu State youth, among others, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday, said the state government has continued to play its leading role as a business and investment enabler.

Gov. Ugwuanyi disclosed his administration has been able to continue to play the role through provision of robust infrastructure; peaceful and secure operating environment for business and investment; consistent and favourable policies; and facilitation of all bureaucratic processes required for starting and doing business “through our One-Stop Investment-Centre (OSIC) under the Enugu State Investment Development Authority (ESIDA)”.

The governor added that the role his administration has continued to play as a business and investment enabler was also achievable through “friendly tax regime and professional regulatory oversight as significant co-factors for investment inflow”.

Speaking during the ground-breaking of the Godfrey Okoye (GO) University-European Business Park, Centre for Practical Skills and Start-Ups, Gov. Ugwuanyi described the outfit as “a public-private initiative with unique value proposition for economic expansion, skill infusion, job creation and wealth creation for our people”.

He stressed that considering challenges of the younger generation which traverse underemployment, unemployment and unemployability due to inadequacy of opportunities as well as poverty of skills because of non-functional education, the emerging digital economy governed by disruptive technologies including the Blockchain, makes the Godfrey Okoye University Business Park initiative both visionary and compelling.

On his administration’s progress in investment development and innovation, Gov. Ugwuanyi revealed: “Our administration, mindful of the rapidly changing world order, organized the first-ever Enugu State Investment Summit in 2016 (Oganiru Enugu) wherein we opened up Enugu State to investors and showcased the investment opportunities in the state”.

He maintained that the progress is “self-evident in the leapfrogging of our state from its 2014 World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking as 27th out of 37 states (including FCT, Abuja), to the 2nd most improved state in the 2018 World Bank Ease of Doing Business subnational ranking”.

According to the governor, “we have birthed the Lion Business Park, a pioneering instance of an audacious public-private partnership project in the South East Zone that promises to transform the economy of the region.

“We have also established two Enugu State Tech Hubs and Youth Innovation Centres (Enugu and Obollo Afor) to infuse technology knowledge and skills in our youths thereby supporting creativity, innovation, start-ups, product acceleration and wealth creation for them. These are intended to create jobs and wealth for young people and transit them out of deviant behaviours.

“These modest efforts are beginning to get due recognition as Enugu has been reckoned as the top five Start-up cities in Nigeria and top 978 Start-up cities globally by the Global Start-Up Eco-System Index 2021 report”.

Speaking on his nomination and shortlisting of institutions of the state government for the conferment of the coveted awards of ICT Governor of the Year, Tech Innovation Hub of the Year (Mentoring and Capacity Building) and Emerging Leader in Science, Tech and Innovation (STI) Advisory (Public Sector) for the prestigious 2021 Nigeria Tech Innovation and Telecom Awards (NTITA) holding in Lagos on Friday, Gov. Ugwuanyi said: “For these and many more, we continue to thank the Almighty God for his love and faithfulness”.

The governor congratulated the Vice-Chancellor of GO University, Prof. Christian Anieke, as well as the management, staff and students of the University, and acknowledged the funding partners for the project, Austrian Development Bank, European Investment Bank and German Government as well as the investing private sector player, Umuchinemere Procredit Micro Finance Bank, for having faith in the laudable project.

He assured them of the favourable Tech Eco-system of Enugu and a friendly business environment.