Breaking: Ikpeazu’s Works Yield more Fruits as Lagos, Abuja, Abia Lead in Capital Inflows for 2020

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Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s efforts at massively improving the socio-economic and infrastructural landscape of Abia State is yielding more fruits as the State had the third highest capital inflow from investors in 2020.

This was made known today by Nairalytics, an independent data processing and authoritative medium in economic and financial matters, via its official Twitter handle @Nairalyticsdata.

The report further revealed that only 11 states among the 36 and the FCT received any capital inflows for the year 2020.

Lagos State received the highest inflow of $3.8bn followed by Abuja, $1.3bn, then Abia with a capital inflow of $56.1m.

Other states that received inflows are Niger – $16.4m; Ogun – $13.4m; Anambra – $10m; Kaduna – $4m; Sokoto – $2.5m; Kano – $2.4m; Akwa Ibom – $1.1m; Adamawa – $20,000.

Giving an insight into what could have been responsible for the high capital inflow to Abia compared to the other states excluding Lagos and Abuja, Dr Emeka Okengwu, an Abuja based Development Economist and World Bank Consultant who spoke exclusively to News Medal via telephone said with what is currently happening in Abia, he expected more inflows “because when you consider the huge investment hub that Aba is as the State’s commercial nerve centre and one of Nigeria’s foremost trade capital, the income that should be coming in from the fabrics and leather works markets, the sprouting industries like the revived Golden Guinea, etc, I expected more”, he said.

On his part, Sir Lawrence Obetta, President of Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), said the State Government’s focus on developing the SMEs through deliberate policies and efforts has ensured Abia keeps getting capital inflows through various means as financial institutions raise their level of confidence in the State while business partners and foreign investors are encouraged with the success stories of local manufacturers and producers. He said incentives for the SMEs by the federal government could also be a factor.

Continuing, Sir Obetta opined that “the current impressive infrastructural development being undertaken by the Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration especially in the area of roads is no doubt a factor in the equally impressive capital inflow to the State.

“When businessmen know that their clients can easily access their locations and that goods and services can easily be transported from one point to another, it becomes an incentive for them to invest in the State”, he said.

Continuing, the ACCIMA President said, “Chinese and Indian companies are already thronging into Abia because of the favourable business atmosphere being created in the State by the government. There’s a Chinese company now in Abia that produces quality rods and other metals. Their success story will certainly be an attraction to other foreign investors”, he concluded.

Recall that Abia State under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was ranked among the top five States in Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria for the last quarter of 2018 by the World Bank while Abia was among the top three in Foreign Direct Investment for the same period after Abuja which got $2.5bn (40 per cent performance), Lagos – $1.6bn (30 per cent performance) and Abia – $1.2bn (23 per cent performance). The other states ranked between zero and 0.2 per cent performance at the time.

Explaining why there was a general decrease in capital inflows for the states in 2020 compared to the previous years of 2018 and 2019, an Umuahia based banker who does not want her name mentioned because she has not been authorised by her bank to speak to the press said the drop in capital inflow was caused largely by the Covid-19 pandemic which almost ground the whole world to a halt throughout 2020. She praised the states especially the top three in the ranking for being able to attract such amount of capital inflows despite the pandemic. She also said if the Governor continues his impressive infrastructural development programme for which he has been receiving a lot of accolades, then Abia State might be the State to watch out for in 2021 because foreign investors are usually attracted by such government actions.

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