AN INDUSTRIALIST, CHARLES ODIUKO OKEKE, has told Business A.M. that Imo State has investment opportunities in different areas of its economy, singling out agrobased and agro-allied industries, tourism and hospitality, petrochemicals, non-metallic mineral based industries, engineering and metallic industries as areas that investors can look to the state to provide tremendous opportunities.
Speaking in Owerri, the state capital, Okeke, who is the founder and chief executive of Tshabron Group, said the state was naturally blessed and enjoyed a peculiar centrality among major towns like Onitsha, the largest commercial town in the Southeast and Southsouth regions and Aba, noted as the second biggest commercial city in the Southeast and South-south region.
Other towns with close proximity to Owerri, the Imo State capital, are Umuahia, Enugu, Calabar and PortHarcourt, each of which could be reached in less that less than two hours, he said. Imo State is endowed with natural researches, which need to be properly harnessed to make it an investment hub, Okeke said.
On the agro-based opportunities, the Tshabron CEO wooed investors, manufacturers and potential investors into the fishery industry in the state, informing about the existence of streams, lakes and rivers in the state which, he said, have huge fish population and that harnessing them commercially could enhance and give a substantial support to the establishment of a large fishery firms in the state.
He also spoke about a wide rage of opportunities in maize processing industries as maize is widely cultivated in all the 27 local government areas of the state. According to him, these agriculture produce, apart from direct
consumption, could be used to manufacture semolina, fine flour, glucose, brewers’ grit, halts, germ cakes, gluten, among others.
Another area Okeke dwelt on extensively is the opportunity in the tourism and hospitality sub-sector of the state’s economy, adding that Imo was endowed with many tourist opportunities that could be transformed into a hub of tourist attraction or centre not only in the South-east and South-south geopolitical zones but in the whole of
Some of the tourist attractions he said include the Oguta Lake resort, which, according to him, could be developed into a national and international holiday resort centre.
There are also the Abadaba Lake Resort in Obowo local government area, the Blue Lake in Oguta, the Nekede Zoological garden in Owerri West local government area, the Monkey Colony in Aboh Mbaise local government area, and numerous others.
But he said that since the creation of Imo State in 1976, the state has been locked up without federal government presence, describing the situation as “no entry and exit points for moving manufactured goods outside and into the state”; he however described the state as endowed with both human and natural resources.
He, therefore, appealed to the federal government, as a matter of urgent industrial development, to reconstruct the dilapidated federal government roads in the Southeast and extend the railway lines to lmo State.
Frontpage September 3, 2019