The World Bank says it is desires to create available facilities that will promote economic development among the private sector in Anambra State.
The Programme Development Specialist, World Bank, Mrs. Anita Okemmili, said this could be realised through visible partnership with Anambra State Government.
Mrs. Okemmili, who spoke during a facility tour of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (IVM), Nnewi, noted the purpose of their visit was to understand major challenges facing the private sector in the state.
It was also to be able to come up with proper potential solutions to promote economic development.
During inspection of facilities at Innoson Company, it was observed that massive expansion was ongoing as workers were busy constructing and testing completed vehicles ready for the show rooms.
“After the study, we will put it into country Private Sector Diagnostic System, then, engage the private sector players such as Innoson to bring about some changes.
“We are coming back in June this year to implement the action. We promise to reflect the identified problems in our report for a better plan to promote the private sector output,’’ she added.
Okemmili commended Innoson Company for creating massive employment opportunities for the youth, which according to her, has been the cardinal pillar for any meaningful economic growth in a country.
Managing Director, Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), Mr. Jide Ikeakor, said the state government had various policy formulations that would aid private sector development in the state.
Ikeakor noted that the major challenges among the private sector were epileptic power supply and availability of raw materials, saying these had posed threats to their production capacity.
He recalled that through the partnership with the Government and Innoson Company, many youths had been trained, as no fewer than 300 youths were undergoing training courses at the company.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), IVM, Mr. Innoson Chukwuma, said that electricity supply had thwarted his lofty vision in vehicle production.
“This is because the high tariff of N43 per second charge has crippled our production capacity,’’ he stated.
Chukwuma said it was regrettable that commercial banks in Nigeria could not afford to provide them with loan facilities to support the business.
He, however, beckoned on World Bank and International Finance Corporation to assist by providing soft loans, to enable them to strengthen productivity.
“We are trying to localise many items at subsidised prices. This will enable us to produce vehicle that will easily be affordable by ordinary folks.
“We are working hard to produce cheap cars. The price of cars in Nigeria is alarming. Poor people cannot afford to buy good cars.
“So, by the time we finalise our expansion plans, anybody can afford brand new quality cars,’’ Chukwuma said with optimism.
The delegation from the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation also visited other companies and farm facilities in the state.