The government of Anambra has said that the development of the maritime transport subsector was a priority in its effort to industrialise and encourage investment into the state.
Mr Mark Okoye, Managing Director of Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), said this at a media roundtable in Awka.
Okoye said moves were on to operationalise the Onitsha Inland port which had been idle since 2012 when it was Inaugurated while a committee had been set up on the Oseakwa port in Ihiala Local Government Area.
He said an estimated one million containers came into the country every year with about 60 per cent of it crossing the River Niger bridge, noting that the target was to divert 70 per cent of the container traffic to marine means of transportation.
“The Onitsha port was inaugurated but it was for the fun of it, the River Niger was not dredged, no staff, no experts but we have made progress in the last two and half years, after it was concessioned to an expert form.
“We need the River Niger to be dredged, this will increase the carrying capacity and address flooding too, so water transport is important to us and it is top in our agenda,” he said.
Okoye said the state government was developing industrial parks and implementing measures that would improve the ease of doing business.
He said the Anambra government, through ANSIPPA, had signed agreements with seven real estate companies for a mass housing project aimed at tackling the housing deficit in the state, especially in the Awka capital city.
Okoye said ANSIPPA will be renamed Anambra Development Investment Commission (ADIC) to position it in line with Gov. Soludo’s objective of making the state a top choice investment destination.
He said the Agency would be unveiled at the Anambra Investment Summit, scheduled for September.
According to him, ANSIPPA is repositioning into the Anambra Development and Investment Corporation (ADIC), a full-fledged development corporation that will expand ANSIPPA’s current role.
“ADIC will be able to legally undertake key phases of project development such as conceptualisation, design, bankability, structuring, and financing. It will access credit and prioritize the development of key infrastructure and development projects.
“ADIC will work with key development partners, development finance Institutions, Investment banks, and major stakeholders to structure bankable projects, taking a more proactive stand on Investment attraction,” he said.
Okoye said investment opportunities abound in Anambra in the areas of manufacture, agriculture, Service industry, trade and commerce, while assuring that government was making the state investment friendly by improving ease of doing business.
He urged willing investors to contact ANSSIPA, which he described as a one stop shop for investors discussion.