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The drive to boost the economy of Abia state,south-East Nigeria may have taken off as the Abia Economic Enhancement Team signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two firms for the development of an industrial cluster tagged “Enyimba Economic City’’.
This was disclosed by Mr Chinenye Nwaogu, a member of the economic team,in company of the state Commissioner for Information,Mr John Okiyi on Wednesday in Umuahia, while briefing newsmen on the project.
According to Nwaogu, who doubles as the Special Adviser to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu on Social Investment and Empowerment, stated that the firms includes a Nigerian property developer, known as Crown Realities, and Chinese-based RUYI Group.
He said that Crown Realities had already completed the design for the project at a cost of 1.3 million dollars, while RUYI Group had also committed 2.5 billion dollars to the project.
Nwaogu maintained that the 2.5 billion dollars was invested on power generation, adding that the firm was also talking with Geometric Power Plant in Aba on the need to provide uninterrupted power supply to the city.
According to him, the project sited on 9,800 hectares of land, spread through Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Ugwunagbo Local Government Areas of the state would be driven completely by the private sector as no state fund is to be invested.
He described the area as most suitable for the project because of its proximity to Onne and Port Harcourt seaports, the Port Harcourt and Imo Airports as well as the huge gas deposit in Ukwa West.
He said that the companies in their desire to run a seamless project execution and compensation had commenced claims survey to confirm the proportion of land belonging to each of the landowners.
Nwaogu and Okiyi expressed joy that the Federal Government had also shown tremendous interest in the project and had set aside N10 billion to be invested in it.
Meanwhile,the state House of Assembly has passed a bill known as “Enyimba Economic Development Law’’ for its continuity and presently awaits on the federal government’s approval to the proposal to make the city a Free Trade Zone.
The team maintained that the project would turn out as the biggest economic hub in the South East when completed, adding that the first phase would commence in the last quarter of the year.
“The project will help to redefine the economic landscape of Abia with abundant job creation,’’ Okiyi said.
RUYI Group as a conglomerate is said to be willing to kick start the new city with more than 22 of its subsidiaries.
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