Stakeholders who converged during the maiden edition of the virtual round table discussion organised by the collective interest group, Abia (CIGA) a development advocacy group impacting the lives and wellbeing of the citizens of Abia State have added their voices and contributions on how Aba, the commercial nerve center of Abia State can become an economic hub not only in Nigeria but the rest of Africa and the world at large.
The event with the theme: “Aba the Economic Giant: Making it Happen,” which held on Thursday July 15, 2021 had various business experts, professionals and media stakeholders as panellists, including; former president Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) and founder Neimeth Plc, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, current president NACCIMA, Ide John Udeagbala, founder/chief executive officer of Innovation Growth Hub, Aba, Daniel Chigozie and Dr. Max Nduaguibe, a consummate lawyer and politician.
Others include; Mr. Kelvin Madu, PZ Manager, Aba ,Paddy Anyatonwu, a prolific writer and director general of Abia Mass Mobilization Agency, Mr. Emeka Anaeto, Group Business Editor, Vanguard Newspaper and Oba Victor Obayagbona, Senior Editorial member and Business/News Editor, BusinessDay. The Panel also had Adline Okere of the BBC as moderator.
In his contribution to the debate, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa who was also the panel chairman said that Aba has what it takes to become an industrial estate and if well harnessed can become the pride of Africa and the world.
“Aba has what it takes to bring jobs and create a better economic activity but sufficient effort and initiatives are required both from individuals and government to achieve this” he said. He noted that when that investment is adequately in place Aba alone can spike up the GDP of Abia State and Nigeria.
In his contribution, Mr. Kelvin Madu, PZ manager Aba said that in the 70s-80s, Aba was a good site as Japan of Africa with business categories including; trading; design, leather works, commercialisation and vocational skill. He said that for Aba to become an economic hub there must be a deliberate plan to overhaul the road network infrastructure.
Ide Udeaagbala, national President NACCIMA in his contribution said that in all of these, the state government should intensify efforts in the area of Ease of Doing Business (EoB) by creating an enabling environment that will make business in the state especially in Aba seamless.
The virtual roundtable has listeners and contributors from both outside and within Nigeria.