Investors are now ready to stake their funds in the Enyimba Economic City having certified the viability of the project designed to create a huge industrial zone on a 9, 800 hectares of land straddling Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Ugwunagbo local governments, the Abia State government has disclosed.
Both Abia state government and the federal government have joined hands to create the enabling environment for the take-off of the industrial project, which is expected to help propel the industrialisation of the South-east zone and the country in general.
A member of the Abia State Economic Enhancement Team, Mr. Chinenye Nwaogu told journalists in Umuahia that a Chinese conglomerate, the Ruyi Group has agreed to invest $2.5 billion in the project.
He said that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the Ruyi Group, representatives of Abia government and the federal government at a ceremony in China recently.
“Ruyi is coming with its subsidiaries of over 20 companies,” Nwaogu said, adding that with the coming of the Chinese industrial giant, many other big investors now have the needed confidence to key into the Enyimba Economic City project.
Aside from the establishment of a chain of industries, including a big textile industry, Ruyi Group has also planned to invest in the power sector to provide stable power supply to the Enyimba Economic City.
According to Nwaogu, Ruyi Group has earmarked $12.5 million for investment in the Geometric Power Limited, which has been licensed to generate and distribute electricity to the commercial city of Aba to enhance the growth of the SMEs the city is noted for.
Though the federal and Abia state governments are excited about the project and have been facilitating its take-off with the issuing of appropriate licences to investors and enacting the enabling laws, respectively, the investors are in the private sector with Crown Realities having the controlling shares.
“We have given so many free hands to private sector to drive this project,” he said, adding that millions of jobs would spring up from the Enyimba Economic City project when it comes on stream.
Nwaogu, said the controlling shares are held by Crown Realities, which has already invested $1.3 billion into the industrial project.
On the compensation for the communities that donated their lands for the project, the governor’s special adviser said the 30 communities have been taken care of by the investors, explaining that part of the compensation was that they would be made part owners of the project.
Abia state commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu said the state government was committed to the realisation of the Enyimba Economic City project, describing it as an economic legacy that would be beneficial to the present and future generations of Abians.
“This is the best thing that will happen to Nigeria in terms of industrialisation,” he enthused.