Enpower Free Trade zone to boost Southeast economy

Cyril Okonkwo, Enugu

CEO, Enpower Free Trade Zone Management Company, Mr. Emeka Eneh; Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo; Head of Mission, Czech Republic, Mrs. Hana Klucaroua; and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, during the ground-breaking ceremony for Enugu Free Trade Zone at Emene, Enugu.

Government and people of Enugu State, South East Nigeria are upbeat as they expect economic activities to leverage on the ”Enpower Free Trade Zone”.
The Enpower Free Trade Zone offers international and domestic investors, an easy link to businesses from the South-eastern cluster.

The Southeast cluster has been acclaimed as the second largest economic cluster in Nigeria after the Lagos cluster.”

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi said that the ceremony marked another giant leap in the drive of his administration for foreign investment, as well as the economic diversification roadmap of Enugu State, the South East and that of Nigeria in general.

The groundbreaking event took place at the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu on Thursday.

Second runway
Ugwuanyi said that the establishment of the Enpower Free Trade Zone in the state necessitates the construction of a second runway at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. He noted that such construction would create room for the expected increase in air traffic at the airport.

The Governor appealed to the Nigerian government to ensure that the airport meets all internationally accepted standards, particularly the installing of facilities that would improve night operations, as well as accommodate heavier aircrafts.

Commendation
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing the project, Governor Ugwuanyi enjoined the Nigerian Government to intervene in the rehabilitation of federal roads in the South East.

According to him, particularly the roads linking the capital cities of the region most of which are in deplorable conditions.

Governor Ugwuanyi also made a case for the revival of railway network linking the South East states and the opening of new lines to other parts of the country.

This, he explained, includes the development of inland ports and jetties in the region to enhance maritime activities.

Czechs to key into the project
Earlier, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Czech Republic Embassy in Nigeria, Hana Klucarova said that her country would partner and work with the Enugu State government in order to make the free trade
zone a success.

She said the Czech mission in Nigeria would be hoping to come for the opening ceremony of the zone in a short time.

Trade and Investment
Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Enpower Enugu State Free Trade Zone, Emeka Eneh said the project would stimulate trade and investment beyond oil when operational, as well as provide massive opportunities for employment.

He explained that of the 35 operational free trade zones in the country, Enpower Enugu Free Trade Zone located near the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu and its 9th Mile Corner annex is the first free trade zone to be established in the South East zone.