BY UGOCHUKWU ALARIBE
ABA- Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has urged Indian businessmen to set up a factory for the manufacturing of tricycles in Aba, Abia State to boost trade between Nigerian and India.
*A tricycle,aka keke, impounded at the instance of a mobile court
The governor noted that over 12,000 tricycles manufactured in India are operating in Aba metropolis, stressing that it would be of mutual benefit to both Abia and India to establish a plant for the manufacturing of tricycles in Aba.
Speaking at a symposium and cultural fiesta organized by the Indian Universities Alumni Association, Aba chapter, in collaboration with the Indian High commission in Nigeria; Ikpeazu who was represented by the Chairman of Aba South council, Mr. Emmanuel Emeruwa, explained that Aba shares same business spirit with India and urged the deputy High Commissioner, Shri Subhash Chand, to persuade his country to invest more in Aba.
“In Aba, we have more than 12,000 tricycles from India operating in Aba metropolis alone. People come to Aba to buy them. I invite you and your business partners to build such companies that can manufacture tricycle here in Aba. There is no point going to India to buy it while the market is readily available in Aba. If you need land, we will give you and everything you need. It is profitable to do business here. We don’t want to continue with importation when we know you can build those things here. The South East will be grateful and entire Nigeria will rejoice over it.”
In his remarks, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri B.N. Reddy, who was represented by the deputy High Commissioner, Shri Subhash Chand, stated that the business relationship between Nigeria and Indian has been growing stronger as students trained in India are now getting involved in national affairs.
“India is the largest trading partner of Nigeria and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. Indian owned and operated companies are estimated to be one of the largest employers in Nigeria. India-Nigeria trade and commercial relations continues to remain steady, despite the year-and-a-half long recession in Nigeria. During 2016 India’s exports to Nigeria were US $1.74 billion as against India’s imports of US $7.41 billion from Nigeria leaving the trade balance of US $5.74 billion in Nigeria’s favour. India will remain committed to support you in your future activities. The High Commission is pleased to note that bilateral cooperation in education has a proud history and remains a priority.”
Earlier, President of the Indian Universities Alumni Association, Chief Ben Egwuonwu, had called for the establishment of an India/Nigeria trade centre in Aba.
He said, “Aba is the heartbeat of South East and South South of Nigeria that comprises 11 States. It is also the capital of small and medium scale enterprises in Africa. Thus, it is called the ‘Japan of Africa’ because of its fabrication prowess. Aba is virtually equidistant to Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Imo, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu, Bayelsa, Delta and Cross River States. It is about 45-90 minutes drive at average speed of 80/100k hour to any of the above states. Aba is suitable to host an Indian /Nigeria centre to promote business and strengthen relationship between both countries.”