By Esther Nworie
Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr David Umahi, says poor investment opportunities in the state were caused by change in government policies.
The governor, however, said his administration has made investment protection law to ensure that future government policies do not affect investors doing businesses in the state.
Umahi disclosed this in Abuja during a parley with Ebonyi National Assembly members, industry players, critical stakeholders and other indigenes of the State.
He noted that his administration has made the state conducive environment for investors to tap from the programmes and policies of the state government.
Umahi who encouraged Ebonyi people to return home and invest in the state, noting that his government currently has N3b facility from Zenith bank which the local investors could access.
“We are seeking for Ebonyi people that would come up with their proposals, what they want to do and in partnership with bank of industry. With the 3b available, we intend to grow it to 6bn.
“We intend to look for banks that would look at the proposal made by our people and then we will be able to give them the soft lone and then monitor their progress. We have monitored the Agric loan we gave and that of the empowerment and we are so encouraged.
“We are encouraging big investors and because of that we have to put in place investment protection law. The aim is to protect those coming to the state to invest. Government policies must not continue to frustrate investment.
“We expect that when an investor comes to the state and invest, and he puts down his investment in the state, our law intends to ensure the protection of such investment even when another administration comes up with a different policy.
“One of the reasons why people don’t invest is because government policies frustrate investors. When one government comes and goes and another one comes, policies will change. We are an investment friendly state and to ensure we protect our investors from future government policies we sat down and thought out what to do.
“What we did was to come up with a law and the law is such that if you come up with investment we will access your investment portfolio and then we enter into MOU and then give you ISPO so if at any time any government changes the policy that would affect your investment and you start losing your money, you will collect that investment from the federation account”, he stated.
Umahi urged Ebonyi people to return home to invest in agriculture, upcoming Ebonyi mall, housing project and the international market, adding that such investment would build the economic base of the state.
He commended the people of the state for their support and encouragement for his administration, and pleaded for continued peace and unity in the state.
The governor added that one of his landmark achievements was the return of peace to Ezza/Ezillo area of the state.
Earlier, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim commended Governor Umahi for bringing the people of the state together.
He urged the state Governor to ensure that such parley holds regular to enable those residing outside the state to be abreast with government policies and programmes.