The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard
Schlagheck, yesterday commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state for his outstanding exemplary stewardship since assumption of duty, saying the governor has recorded various achievements across different sectors of the state’s economy.
Apart from the governor’s exploits in rural transformation, education and prompt payment of salaries of workers which the envoy noted was not common in Nigeria today, he commended Enugu state Government for setting a national standard in handling the disbursement of the Paris Club Refunds to the state.
Dr. Schlagheck delivered these verdicts yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on the governor at the Government House, Enugu as Governor Ugwuanyi offered his administration’s hands of fellowship to the Republic of Germany in the areas of development pertaining to the European country’s engagements in Enugu state.
The envoy spoke further, saying that “the atmosphere here in Enugu is quite conducive as a result of the various achievements across different sectors of the state’s economy, especially in rural transformation, education, job creation and healthcare.
“I also learnt that workers in Enugu get their salaries at the end of the month, which is not that common in Nigeria, I will like to add”, he stated.
According to him, “Enugu is also setting standards in setting up committee to ensure proper utilization of the Paris Club Refunds, that is a remarkable achievement”.
On the restructuring question whose debate is central in national discourse at the moment in Nigeria, the ambassador explained that the Federal Republic of Germany has worked to enhance coming together of governments and officials of the South-South and South East states to try to strengthen inter regional cooperation.
On his part, Governor Ugwuanyi who hosted the ambassador and members of his delegation pointed to the central strategic importance of Enugu in the scheme of things of the Southern Nigeria regional groupings, having served as the capitals of defunct regions and the capital of the current Enugu State.
The governor also spoke of his state’s relations with Germany, saying that “as a state, we have undeniably enjoyed a long history of interaction and cooperation with the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through her diplomatic mission in Nigeria and some of her aid agencies.
“We will be very eager to share ideas and partner with
your office on issues of development, especially those that pertain to German engagement in Enugu State. This is even more imperative in the light of our current efforts to engage new development partners and attract direct foreign investments to our state.
“We are fully committed to the sustenance of an environment that is conducive for businesses and other developmental initiatives in the state, especially through our continuous investments in such critical areas as security, infrastructural development, environmental improvement, expansion and regularisation of social services etc.
“We have also put in place, necessary legislations, institutional frameworks, favourable tax regime and special incentives that would make it easier and more convenient for the operation of businesses in Enugu”, said the governor who informed his visitors that “currently, we have on the block for commercialisation or privatization, over 17 potentially lucrative State -owned companies and industries dealing in diverse areas of business and production”.
He also informed the envoy that “Enugu State is also richly endowed with natural and human resources that offer copious investment opportunities in agriculture and agro-allied enterprises and in the extraction and processing of such minerals as coal, limestone, clay, oil, gas etc all of which are found in very abundant quantities in the state.
“The presence of an international (passenger and cargo) airport and the establishment of a free trade zone in Enugu as well as the urbanization initiatives of the government, provide a further boost to the economic potentials and profile of the state”, he also informed, appealing to the embassy to enlighten and sensitize genuine business organisations in Germany as to these opportunities and to also, facilitate their entry into Enugu State as investors.