By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—GOVERNOR Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has said that Abia State would expressly issue Certificate of Occupancy and other necessary licenses to investors who are ready for investments with the government.
Speaking after a meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday, the governor said that Abia was amongst the first states that had built structures for investments to support the ease of doing business initiative.
He described potential business partners “as the oxygen that will drive the economic life of Abia state”
He said: “On the impact of ease of doing business, Abia is one of the first states that set up a structure for ease of doing business, so that if today, you want to set up an industry, in less than one week, I assure you, you will get your C of O because, we have a landmark. And if we have the wind that anybody wants to do business in Abia, we will come to the airport and pick you up and will personally usher you in through that one stop shop, so that all that you need to know from land acquisition, licensing will be made available to you.
“We see our potential business partners as the oxygen that will drive the economic life of Abia state. And we are prepared to hold them and make sure we establish them without stress. We are doing well and our ranking must have improved by now. We are also working to make sure that we eliminate multiple taxation. We are doing well in ease of doing business. We are also doing well in driving what Nigerians have come to know as Made-in-Aba. We have moved our narrative from Made-in-Aba to ‘Come, make it in Aba’.”
Ikpeazu said that his mission to the Villa was to brief the Acting President on the activities of the state government in the last two years and the inherent challenges.
“I came to brief the Acting President on what is happening in Abia State as it concerns what we have been able to do in the last two years; to present our challenges and the things we expect government to help us do, especially in terms of supporting our small and medium scale industries and manufacturing”, he said.
Asked if the sit-at-home order by the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB ,affected the state, Governor Ikpeazu said that the two major cities of Aba and Umuahia were calm and government offices were opened.
“You know the beauty of democracy is that you have freedom of expression and you also have the freedom of gathering and meeting. My experience in Abia is that we have two major cities. Umuahia and Aba. Umuhia is calm, Aba is calm also.
“Government offices and agencies opened but it is up to businessmen to either open their shops or close them at will. Two reasons: one could be that some people want to comply and the second reason is that a few people will want to close their shops for fear of hoodlums hijacking the exercise to loot. So in all, as long as no life is lost, as long as nobody is molested, as long as lives and properties are secured, it is okay.