Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State on Wednesday called on foreign investors to patronise the state in view of its abundant mineral resources.
Umahi made the call during the “Ebonyi Special Day” at the 2018 Lagos International Trade Fair held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Ugo Nnachi, Umahi said the state’s abundant mineral resources waiting to be tapped included salt, lead, zinc, copper, kaolin, gypsum, clay, cement and coal.
He said: “It may interest you to know that crude oil was discovered in the state in 1928 and until now it is yet to be tapped and we are hoping that before long Ebonyi State will join the league of oil producing state.
“Ebonyi State also has a lot of tourism potential such as beaches, parks, resort centres and good hotels.”
Umahi said that his government had embarked on projects that would attract investors, eliminate unemployment, hunger, insecurity, diseases and illiteracy in the past three years.
He enumerated some of the projects as the entrepreneurship scheme sponsored through soft loans, massive rice production, health care delivery, infrastructural development and market construction, among others.
The governor urged investors to partner with the state and gave assurance of his commitment to provide the enabling environment and facilities for businesses to thrive.
Babatunde Ruwase, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the chamber looks forward to Ebonyi State becoming a fast growing industrialised state in the country.
He said that National Bureau of Statistics latest figure showed that Ebonyi State generated N4.79 billion in 2017 compared with N2.34 billion in 2016, representing over 100 per cent increase.
Ruwase said the state was host to several large and small industries with a fast growing population that currently stands at about 2.2 million.
The LCCI boss said there was the need to proactively tackle the peculiar challenges of urbanisation as Ebonyi State’s mega state status emerges.
Ruwase urged the Ebonyi State Government to create conducive environment for businesses to thrive, adding that the private sector had the greatest potential to generate jobs and uplift people from poverty.