Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has urged Indonesian businesses and investors to take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities, improved business environment, and ample returns on investment (ROI) in Enugu State.
This was even as the governments of Nigeria and Indonesia pledged closer collaboration to boost trades and investments between both countries for their mutual prosperity.
Governor Mbah made the call in a keynote address he delivered at the 2023 Nigerian-Indonesian Investment and Trade Forum, which opened in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on Monday.
Speaking at the event organised by the Nigerian-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) in collaboration with the Indonesian Trade Promotion Centre, Lagos, Mbah, while commending the growth of trade volume between Nigeria and Indonesia to $4.7 billion, however, observed that both countries could actually do much more, especially considering the abundant opportunities offered by Enugu State.
He listed the investment opportunities in the state, spanning agriculture, mineral resources, logistics, aviation, tourism, real estate, mineral resources, ICT, among others.
“In the area of agriculture, Enugu is blessed with 10 per cent arable, fertile land with a high factor of productivity and good access to both surface and subterranean water that makes all year-round agriculture possible.
“The State is climatically disposed to the production of key produce like cassava, oil palm, cashew, spices of various types.
“These areas offer not only the opportunity for primary agricultural production, but also the opportunity to invest in industrial facilities to add value to these produce for local consumption as well as export.
“The State is also blessed with significant deposits of minerals. In the area of petroleum, Enugu State has proven deposits of oil but more importantly has extensive deposits of natural gas.
‘Other minerals within the state include coal, gold, kaolin, gypsum, clay, and limestone, among others. This makes Enugu ideal not only for mining, but also for the siting of key industries”, Mbah stated.
Assuring that Enugu was open for business, he said his administration’s target to grow Enugu State’s economy from the present $4.4b to a new level of $30b was anchored on extensive private sector investment and utilisation of strong local and international partnerships.
“It is in view of this, that we are here today reaching out to the government and business community in Indonesia to let you know in the clearest way possible that Enugu is open for business”, he stated.
The governor listed some of the key ongoing steps taken by his administration to improve the investment and business climate of Enugu State to include expansion of security networks for improved securit, a functional One Stop Centre for speedy processing of investment interests and needs, massive urban and rural infrastructural development, establishing about 300,000 hectares land bank for both corporate farmers and special agro-processing zones, establishing of Free Zones, the recently signed Enugu State Electricity Law to create a free market electric power, and the effort to build a Tier 4 Hyper Scale Data Center.
Others include far-reaching reforms towards stronger contract enforcement, ease of procurement of land titles, which would now take 72 hours.
Speaking, the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria, Dr. Usra Harahap, reiterated the readiness of the government and business community of Indonesia to strengthen investment and trade ties with Nigeria at both federal and subnational levels for mutual benefits.
“In 2022, the trade volume between Indonesia and Nigeria reached US$4.7 billion, with the majority of Indonesia’s imports in oil and gas. However, there are untapped potentials for trade and investment in other sectors, which are massive and open for future development”, he stressed.
In his remarks, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Usman Ari Ogah, said the Investment and Trade Forum was yielding the required results.
“At this time last year, we were saying our $2.6 billion trade volume would go to $4 billion. Today, we are talking of $4.7 billion in less than one year. And the Chamber has said they are targeting $6 billion from now to December ending. I can bet you we will do it. And it is important I tell you that the balance of trade is in the favor of Nigeria”, Oga stated.
The organisers led by the President of the Nigerian-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mr. Ishmael Balogun, and the Director, Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre, Lagos, Mr. Hendro Jonathan Manurund, their resolve to deepen trade and investment relations between both nations.