By, Uchechukwu Ugboaja
Transcorp Hilton Hotels Abuja played host to the gathering of state governors from about 15 states across the country in recognition of their efforts towards encouraging competitiveness and good governance at the Business Day Good Governance Awards 2017 as Abia State stole the spot light with its promotion of Made In Nigeria goods.
These states were recognised for boosting their respective economies showcasing their areas of comparative advantage and invariably enhancing their competitiveness and bilateral trade amongst states in a developing economy like Nigeria. The partnership between Kebbi state and Lagos state in rice production, Abia State and the Nigerian Military in production of boots just to mention a few confirms that trade partnerships across the competitive advantage of states grows the local economy of the States but more importantly it creates employment, food security, entrepreneurship and enhances inclusive growth.
It is also worthy to note that these states and their governors have embraced the fact that the era of relying totally on federal allocation may soon be over and thus the need for viable alternatives in generating state revenue to meet up with recurrent and capital expenditure of their various state governments.
According to the organisers of Business Day Competitiveness and Good Governance Awards, Abia State at the moment is top on the list of states which have transitted into this phase of dynamic governance module which has seen it enhance internally generated revenue, improved economic wellbeing of its citizenry, creating integration and most importantly delivering value to the masses either through its cardinal frontiers as espoused by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu agriculture, minerals, industry, commerce or enterprise. Business Day Newspapers have therefore identified these activities as the door to self sufficiency in the near future.
As the major promoter of Made in Aba products, one of the first things Governor Ikpeazu did was to take the campaign to the Legislature as the leadership have taken the message to promote it evident in the made in Aba exhibition for about two years. He also took the campaign to the Presidency where he has been given assurances of the federal government’s commitment.
In terms of Job Creation the Abia state governor has clearly brought in a new sense of vigour to the subject as his administration has commenced the training of some youths in China to understudy the art of making shoes and other accessories to meet international standard with exportation in mind. Aba is fast becoming one of West Africa’s rising economic hubs as Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has been described as one of the best governors in terms of the ease of doing business in Nigeria. Abia state is unarguably the best state in terms of promoting Made In Nigeria products as this campaign has won him several awards locally and internationally even though he appears not to be ready to rest on his laurels, Business Day Good Governance and Competitiveness Award 2017 is a recognision of his unrelenting desire and commitment to reshape the history of Abia State.
The people of Abia state at this moment will certainly take advantage of this opportunity to become a self reliant economy if things continue to go this way as the governor and his Made In Aba brand continues to dominate the spotlight at yet another Award night.