Enugu Free Trade Zone to become largest industrial hub in West Africa

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*As Akuluouno international traders in collaboration with Lion Business Park organise awareness seminar

(Report by Udeme Clement)

It was an epoch making event yesterday, July 25, 2021, at the prestigious Santiago Milan hotel. Lagos, as Akuluouno International Traders Association, owners of Akuluouno international market – Free Tree Zone (FTZ) in Enugu, organised a special luncheon.

The seminar, which was the best of its kind was put together in collaboration with Lion Business Park Enugu, to sensitise potential investors on the economic benefits of investing in the Zone.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of Lion Business Park, Dr Okechukwu John Mbonu, said the project is a public-private partnership initiative conceived by promoters of the Park, in synergy with Enugu State government, to facilitate development of industrial hub with state-of-the-art infrastructure like power, security and ICT.

He informed: “The project is designed to provide a veritable platform for interactions between manufacturers, businesses, traders and entrepreneurs. It will enhance industrialization, entrepreneurship, commerce, local production and supply of goods and services across West Africa.

“We are poised to developing what will arguably be regarded as the largest industrial cum commercial hub in Eastern Nigeria. This initiative will create the first of such commercial hub in a Free Trade Zone in Eastern Nigeria. I am using this opportunity to invite investors, individuals, businesses, foreign companies and entities to take advantage of the huge investment opportunities abound in the Zone.

“Our aims are; to turn traders to manufacturers, importers to exporters, craftsmen to innovators and unemployed to business owners”.

Also speaking, the President of Akuluouno International Traders Association, Mr Tony Obi, said the project is very unique, as the Zone occupies over two thousand hectares of land.

His words: “It has small, medium and large industrial plots. Light and heavy assembling plants. Import and export market. Small scale production suites. Ware housing and logistics sites. Hotels and central boulevard plots for commercial activities. Business suites and showrooms. Presidential support estate. Restaurants, eateries within the exhibition complex.”

In his remarks, the Former Senate President, also former Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Ayim Pius Ayim, applauded Akuluouno international traders for their insight in promoting such a huge investment in the Eastern region.

Senator Ayim, expressed confidence that Lion Business Park under Dr Mbonu, as the Chairman will grow rapidly to an enviable height of recognition locally and Internationally.

He described Dr Mbonu as an astute business man, who used his expertise in expanding Nigerian Breweries to different places including Abia State.

He said: “I am proud to identify with this laudable project. It is an on-going project that we must invest in. It is one of a kind. I promise to be part of this project”.

In her goodwill message, Chief Mrs Onyeka Owenu, known for her unique style of singing, called on Ndigbo to unite and invest in their region.
Her words:. “The God we serve is the God of Ndigbo. We will certainly grow stronger and stronger.
As a people, we are unique. We are business conscious and business incubation is one of the things the world is talking about now”.

She ended her speech with an electrifying local song that made all in attendance sang and danced joyously.

The high point of the programme was the cutting of Cake, coordinated by a reputable Actor, accomplished business man and the Publicity Secretary of Ndigbo-Amaka group, Mr Ejike Metu.

In the same vein, the Secretary of Akuluouno international traders, serving in Lagos Advisory Council, Mr Chinedu Ukatu, expressed optimism that the project will enhance greater economic productivity within the region and the country at large. He
thanked all the dignitaries, investors, entrepreneurs, bank managers and market leaders, who turned out in large number to grace the occasion.

The event was indeed outstanding with guests from all walks of life.
In attendance were representatives of NEPZA, Union back, Fidelity bank, Mortgage bank, market leaders from Abuja, Enugu and Abia States, among other personalities.

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