The Federal Government and Abia State have signed ‘definitive agreements’ for the development of Enyimba Economic City in Abia State.
The agreement is described as a major milestone achieved by Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.
Governor Ikpeazu led a delegation of host communities of the Enyimba Economic City from Abia South on Friday to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja for the signing of the deal.
Federal Government was represented by the Nigeria Special Economic Zone Investment Company Limited and the Abia State Government was represented by the Enyimba City Development Company Limited.
Ikpeazu said that the agreements signed marked the commencement of work at the site of the Enyimba Economic City as the groundbreaking event of the city will be done as soon as possible, possibly by President Buhari.
President Buhari and other top Federal Government functionaries witnessed the agreement signing ceremony at the Federal Executive Council chambers, at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja.
The Enyimba Economic City is an audacious and game changing project for Nigeria.
It is a 9,803 Hectares of new economic city, spanning three (3) Local Government Areas of Abia State, Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Ugwunagbo.
The land is at the centre of the five (5) South East and four (4) South-South states and has the right characteristics and ingredients to drive massive economic expansion of the region and by extension Nigeria.
It has major arterial, intercity roads connections. It is near existing sea ports (Onne and Port Harcourt) and proposed Akwa Ibom Deep Sea Port.
It has proximity to Airports (Owerri, Port Harcourt and Uyo). It has functional gas pipelines and border Owaza gas fields. It is transversed by existing National Rail line, Port Harcourt – Maiduguri etc.
The key pillars of Enyimba Economic City is to create a global business hub that connects the nine (9) South East and South-South states, build first class infrastructure in the location,
including dedicated power and attract economic activities that are mainly driven by manufacturing and supported by other uses e.g. Logistics, Medical, Entertainment, Education, Lifestyle, Residential, etc.
The target is to attract proactively long term local and foreign investments, thereby integrating Nigerian businesses (manufacturing and services) into regional and global supply and value chains.
This project is a well thought out one, combining the clear focus of the private sector and the enabling powers of the Governments at all level. Hence, it is a Private Public Partnership (PPP) of Crown Realties Plc, the host communities, Abia State Government and the Federal Government of Nigeria under project Made in Nigeria for Export (MINE) of Federal Government of Nigeria.
On that basis, the Federal Government has designated Enyimba Economic City a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with Free Trade Zone Status and one of the three (3) pilots that include Kano and Lagos. It has also taken 20% equity in the project.
The First Phase of the project is fully designed and shovel ready and the projection is that construction will commence in Q1, 2019 and various major anchor tenant discussions are progressing well for manufacturing transfers from China, Germany and other countries to the new city.
The positioning and master planning of the city was done by some of the bests in the business in the world, Surbana Jurong of Singapore and CBRE of India in collaboration with local firms.
The positioning study indicate that Enyimba Economic City will at capacity, provide over 625,000 jobs, urban housing of over 300,000 units, urban population of more than 1.5 million people.
It is projected that the city will provide more than 2,000 industrial and business units, with estimated annual value output of more than $5 billion.
Mathew Dadiya, Abuja