At summit, Okowa says methanol, other manufacturing firms ready for Delta
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has said activities will soon begin at the Kwale Industrial Park (KIP) in Ndokwa West Council Area, as methanol and transmission tower manufacturing firms have indicated readiness to set up their plants in the state.
Okowa disclosed this at the South-South Export Enlightenment and Engagement Forum organised by the Nigeria Export-Import (NEXIM) Bank in conjunction with the state government in Asaba.He said, “Our investment drives have started paying off, our state has commenced the process of the Kwale Industrial Park located along Ughelli-Asaba Expressway.
“It is expected to drive my administration’s industrialisation agenda, as the Park has the potential to be Nigeria’s biggest location for gas and energy intensive manufacturing such as ceramics, rubber and methanol.“We engaged in a successful road show at China, which will bring about the establishment of a methanol manufacturing plant at the park within the next few months, while pulp and paper will also be manufactured at the Park.”
The governor added that as a demonstration of the state government’s faith in the viability of the project and as an incentive to prospective investors, the state government approved $10m seed fund for partnership with interested investors in the KIP.He explained that government earmarked $5m as seed capital for the establishment of a transmission tower manufacturing plant being promoted by ENFRASCO Limited.
The project, which will be sited at Issele-Uku, comprises the establishment of a manufacturing plant for power transmission, telecommunication masts, hot dip galvanising plant, tower testing and certification facility, as well as a research facility training school with focus on fabrication and distribution skills.
“This commitment on the part of the state government serves to de-risk investments and give assurance to prospective investors. We call for diversification of the nation’s economy from oil and gas.
“Evidently, this distorted mono-product economy does not bode well for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development, as oil is a depleting resource,” he stressed.He insisted that even more importantly, the advent of electric cars threatens the future of the oil and gas industry, hence, the urgent need for the governments in the Niger Delta region to expeditiously diversify their economies and maximise their non-oil export potential.
“To achieve this, it is important that we first take full advantage of our unique location. In business, it is axiomatic that being in the right location is critical for success.
“Our natural location in the coastal region puts us in a prime position to engage in export-import trade, especially as Delta has four seaports in Warri, Burutu, Sapele and Koko, whose combined capacity exceeds that of all the other ports in Nigeria put together,” he added.Speaking, Managing Director of NEXIM Bank, Abubakar Bello, stated that efforts should be geared towards encouraging non-oil export, adding that N1b had been set-aside for entrepreneurs who are into non-oil export products for each state of the country.
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