Abia government Afreximbank parley on state’s economy
Worried about the declined economic fortunes, Abia State government has enlisted the support of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in its quest to tap into growth opportunities in the state.
Led by the Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, the state government at its visit to Cairo-based Afreximbank, he solicited support to boost state’s industrialization plans.
He said the state intended to leverage on its competitive advantage by tapping into the industrial clusters that already existed in the Aba area of the state.
According to him, there are some 250 clusters in Aba, each employing about four people, which have been actively engaged in producing garments and other wears that are exported and then rebranded with foreign labels before being sold in the international market, including Nigeria.
He noted that Enyimba Industrial City had been conceptualized, where infrastructure would be provided and other support structures made available to catalyse industrialisation in the state and in Nigeria’s Southeast region.
President of Afreximbank, Dr. Benedict Oramah, said that the state’s approach resonated with the bank’s new strategic plan, which had the promotion of intra-African trade as one of its key pillars.
Under the Bank’s Intra-African Trade Strategy, it was supporting the development of industrial parks, export processing zones and special economic zones, he said.
It was also supporting the creation of export trading companies to help take the goods manufactured in the industrials parks, such as the one envisaged in Aba, into the export market.
Oramah said the bank is working to establish certification centres in Africa, with the first planned for Nigeria.