The governor of Abia state, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has appealed to British companies and investors to come and invest in his state.
He spoke when he paid a courtesy visit to the British High commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Ankwright, at the British High Commission in Abuja.
This is even as the governor is still battling to retain his seat, after he was dragged to court by Uche Ogar who claimed to be the rightful governor of the state.
The court had ruled in favour of Ogar who was thereafter issued a Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ikpeazu is still battling to clear the clear all legal hurdles in the issue as he has files counter suits and appeals.
During his visit to the Mr. Ankwright, Ikpeazu restated his government’s commitment to provide enabling environment for trade and commerce to thrive in the state, and called for collaboration and partnership from the British Government and people to further develop Abia State.
Governor Ikpeazu who stressed that Abia state is strong in small and medium enterprises (SME) added that Aba, which he described as the SME capital of Nigeria, has talents and craftsmen that can drive the economy of Nigeria towards accelerated growth and prosperity.
He identified some of the major challenges affecting the drive for trade and commerce expansion in the state to include infrastructural decay, especially in the area of federal roads and epileptic power supply, noting that it is also difficult to access good water supply at homes.
The governor appealed for assistance in the areas of capacity building, training and support for tax reforms and assured that his government is working hard to quickly meet some of the identified challenges in order to position the state as the number one investment destination in Nigeria.
According to him, the commercial city of Aba hopes to benefit from the independent power of Geometric power Limited which will commence operation as soon as the federal government is able to resolve the impasse between the independent power provider and the distribution firms.
Responding, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ankwright, said the British Government assistance is currently focused on attacking poverty and humanitarian crises among others.
He promised to talk to his colleagues at DFID to see how they can come in and assist the government and people of Abia State.
He assured the Governor that he will communicate the opportunities available in Abia to British investors.
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