Geometric Power Ltd and Afrexim Bank on Monday in Durban, South Africa, signed a USD50M facility for the operationalisation of the Aba Integrated Power Project.
The signing ceremony is the culmination of years of shuttle diplomacy which Governor Okezie Ikoeazu has been undertaking to ensure the operationalisation of the Power project which is key to rapid economic development of Aba and Abia State.
This facility will unlock the needed funding outlay required for the immediate operationalisation of the Aba Power Project.
Governor Ikpeazu, while speaking at the signing ceremony, said he was fully aware of the chain of developments the commencement of the Aba IPP will attract to Abia State.
He thanked Prof. Oramah for the cooperation of the Afrexim Bank and assurance of support for other projects in the pipeline and assured him that Abia State would always support genuine investors to do business in Abia State.
The President of the Afrexim Bank, Prof. Benedict Oramah in his speech at the event, disclosed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was the driving force behind the culmination of the transaction, commending the Governor for his doggedness and determination to transform the lives of the people of Abia State.
With this development, Abia is set to surpass the $56M foreign direct investment it attracted last year which made it the third highest destination for foreign direct investment in Nigeria.
President of Geometric, Prof. Barth Nnaji signed for Geometric Power while President of Afrexim Bank Prof. Benedict Oramah signed for the Bank.
Governor Ikpeazu was in Durban to attend the Intra African Trade Fair organized by the Afrexim Bank.
Host President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, Presidents of Zimbabwe, Zanzibar and Malawi and the Prime Minister of Rwanda as well as Federal Ministers, Heads of Agencies, Premiers and Governors of Provinces and Sub-National Governments in Africa were in attendance.
On the sidelines at the event, Governor Ikpeazu also signed an agreement for a Multi-million Naira Deal with the Nigerian Export Promotion Commission for the establishment of an Export Expansion Program Resource Center in Aba, Abia State.
Speaking during the ceremony, at the Nigeria Pavilion, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo expressed excitement at the consumation of the agreement which the two parties have been working on for some months.
Mr. Awolowo disclosed that with the signing of this agreement, Abia State was set to benefit hundreds of Millions of Naira from the Presidential Economic Recovery and Growth Program (ERGP) which is funding the Export Expansion Program.
The Export Chief disclosed that the Nigerian Export Promotion Commission is now ready to build an Export Expansion Resource Center in Aba which will be a one-stop shop facilitating export of goods and services from Aba to the rest of Africa and beyond in line with the African Continental Free Trade Act and commended Governor Ikpeazu and his team for their doggedness and commitment to the project which has seen the state meet the requirements for the introduction of the Program to Abia State.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, expressed delight at the development and requested meetings between officials of the Abia State Government and NEPZA for the exploration of how Abia State can benefit from the opportunities available to states in his Agency.
In his remarks, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu expressed appreciation to all the parties who have worked assiduously to see to the realisation of the agreement. He reassured of the personal commitment of his office to position Abia State for all available opportunities to support businesses in Abia State.
Officials of the Abia State Government and NEPC signed the symbolic agreement for the kick-off of the program.
Governor Ikpeazu was accompanied on the trip by his aides Sam Hart, Chinenye Nwaogu and John Chigbu as well as industrialists Raymond Aliga and Chief Okey Ahiwe. Others on the trip are Dr. Darl Uzu of Enyimba Economic City, Prof. Barth and Lady Agatha Nnaji of Geometric Power.