Gov Otti canvasses for US funding, trade promotion

2024-02-21 17:48:15

Tribune Online

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has called for support from the United States Consulate in the area of access to finance.

This was as the governor also called for support from the United States Consulate in promoting trade, investment and other areas of interest in Abia State.

Otti was speaking on Wednesday when he received in the audience, the Political and Economic Section Chief of the US Consulate, Lagos, Mike Ervin, who was in the state on a working visit with his team.

According to Otti, "You can come in as United States to assist us. If we solve the power problem, then there's another problem which is access to finance and these days of expensive dollars, people are running away from foreign currency funding, but I believe we can sit down and think out a process whereby, even if it is for government to provide a guarantee and help against fluctuations in the foreign currency price, our people can be sure of support that they can pay back," Governor Otti said.

The governor highlighted a number of challenges confronting the state, especially the business sector to include access to finance, power and logistics support in the area of digital economy among others, adding that the issue of power supply in Aba will soon be over following the commissioning of the Geometric power plant which will soon be performed by the Presidency.

Otti stated that Abia prides itself as a major trading and industrial hub in Nigeria, noting that Aba has over 50,000 shoe manufacturers and is also very strong in fabrics and garment productions.

He regretted that the state has suffered setbacks in the past due to infrastructural decay, noting that many businesses that hitherto relocated from Aba to other states are gradually returning back to Aba as his administration has in the last 8 months fixed many roads in the state, especially in Aba, the commercial hub of the State.

"In the past we have suffered quite some set back because of infrastructural decay, you really can not do much when infrastructure is not there,that is why when we came we started pursuing the rejuvenation and rehabilitation of infrastructure in particular, roads, drainages, not forgetting security and in the last 8 months we have been able to fix many many roads in Aba which is also the industrial and trading hub of Abia state", he said.

Earlier, the Lagos US Consulate Political and Economic Section Chief, Mike Ervin, who explained that the Consulate covers the 17 Southern States of Nigeria, said their mission was to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and ensure prosperity between the United States and Nigeria.

"As you know in the US consulate in Lagos we cover the 17 southern states and our top job more than any other, is to seek ways to expand bilateral trade and investment and expand shared prosperity between our people.

"Our people share a long history of partnership and that was highlighted by the visit of our Secretary of state, Anthony Blinkin in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago where he spoke eloquently and strongly on the significance and importance of US- Nigeria bilateral relationship and our desire is to seek ways of expanding that relationship to build prosperity for our people", he stated.

2024-02-21 News