From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has inaugurated a new board for Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA).
Mr Mustafa Chike Obi is the Chairman while Chinedu Onyiuke is Secretary to the Board.
Other members include the MD/CEO, ANSIPPA, Mr. Mark Okoye, Attorney General, Professor Sylvia Ifemeje and Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Chiamaka Nnake.
Others include the Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Mr Obinna Ngonadi, Mr Sammy Chidoka, Mr Christian Udechukwu, Dr Marcel Offormata and Dr Emeka Okeke respectively
According to the Governor, the functions of ANSIPPA, among other things include to handhold and guide all investors in the State to ensure that the process of doing business is streamlined and managed efficiently, identify specific viable infrastructure projects across ministries, Departments and Agencies and invite interested investors to participate via Public Private Partnership (PPP), concessions, JVs and so on.
He said it should strengthen strategic partnerships and enhance the ability of current and future investors to create jobs and expand access to the export market, manage the State’s Investment portfolio and partner with international development agencies and Non Governmentsl Organizations (NGOs) to attract their technical support and funding to improve investment climate in Anambra.
Speaking on the mandate of the agency, Governor Soludo said:
“This is a very important agency of government and one that we expect to play a very critical role in the industrialization of Anambra; in creating that Anambra of our vision, to be the industrial, leisure, entertainment and technology hub within Nigeria and Africa. To get that done, this agency is expected to play a decisive role.”
The Governor, again, reiterated that these are very unusual and challenging times, saying government revenue was continually on the downward trend.
“Government revenue is sliding down. We hope that it will improve over time. Debt situation with humongous challenges are all over the place, insecurity, infrastructural challenges, legal issues and all manner of issues that can be challenging to investors.
“However, this is an era you have both opportunities and threats in terms of financing. We know that there could be lots of creative opportunities that could give rise in some other financing options that we need to explore. We believe that ANSIPPA should be able to reform our business environment, to drive the cost of doing business to near zero.
“It should be that one stop shop for clearance and all kinds of impediments and incentives, that should be able to reduce the impediments to the barest minimum and raise the incentives to the maximum possible.”
The Governor noted that the agency would be challenged to come up with creative funding mechanisms, not just for the projects but also even for the agency itself.
He urged the agency to think out of the box, in a very positively disruptive manner, to create new values for the people.
The Governor further said that even though Nigeria is in quite some challenging situation, Anambra could be created and made into an Island of prosperity widely sought after.