From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Even as Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage nation’s socio-economic activities, Hon. Uche Ogah says the global Communities should now begin to think out of the box on what should be realistically done to address the quantum damages caused by the Corona Virus noting that industrialization as a veritable key that would aid in repositioning the nation’s shattered economy.
Ogah who is the Minister of State on Mines and Steel Development, disclosed this in Owerri while on one day official visit of the state and for the commissioning of the multi-million Naira new production lines of Shanghai Engineering Works and Industrial Limited (SEWIL), Ubomiri in Mbaitoli council area of Imo State, solely built by Mr Festus Mbisiogu, a Nigerian-born but China and Middle East-based business icon.
The Minister who earlier paid a courtesy visit to Governor Hope Uzodimma at Government House, Owerri revealed the efforts Federal Government has made in reviving the nation’s Mines and Steel sectors assuring that soon Nigeria will be a global business melting point for the products.
He applauded Governor Uzodimma for his vision of creating enabling environment for the thrive for establishment of industries in the state while reassuring of his Ministry’s willingness to collaborate with Imo State Government in any area of need especially as it concerns Mines and Steel.
Ogah also commended Mr Mbisiogu who is the Chairman cum Chief Executive Officer of Shanghai Engineering Works and Industrial Limited for responding to the patriotic calls of both the federal and state governments on the need for Nigerians in diaspora to come home and invest noting that the multi billion Naira factory has aided in creating jobs for over 500 Nigerians directly and over 2,000 persons indirectly.
The Minister while commissioning the new factory buildings housing the production lines dedicated the company in the hands of the Almighty God and expressed satisfaction that over 80% of their raw material usage are locally sourced and promised to present their challenges to relevant authorities of the Federal Government for accelerated response.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Mbisiogu said that despite the Nigerian Government clarion calls that he was inspired by Chinese people industrial prowess having lived in their country for over 15 years.
The CEO equally pointed out that he has a triple vision of making the company, a one stop shop for building materials manufacturing, to bridge the gap of importation of building materials and allied products from Asia continent to Nigeria and to assist the Federal Government in her efforts to create job opportunities for teeming Nigerian youths who are unemployed.
According to him “SEWIL summoned the courage to take the bull by the horns which gave the resolve to return our investment from overseas to Nigeria on the conviction that we must also spare head our industrial revolution and development before foreign investors will take us serious.
Moreso, as a community leader among the Nigerians in diaspora, it was my findings that, over 85% of the Nigerians in Diaspora capital remittance back home goes into domestic consumption and self-gratuity of comfort and luxury, which does not in any way help the economic growth and Community development. These findings aided in the motivation of the establishment of SEWIL as a medium to change the narrative and encourage other Diasporas to follow our footsteps in contributing to the growth and development of the country,” he said.
He lamented on the issue of epileptic power outage as their major challenge and appealed to all levels of government in Nigeria to give serious attention to the provisions of constant power supply just as he appealed to Imo State Government for the tarring of the main entrance route to his factory.
It was like Imo State Government functionaries emptied at the occasion as led by Hon Kingsley Ononuju, Commissioner for Commerce and Industries, Hon John Eke , the Chairman Mbaitoli Interim Management Committee (IMC), Hon Councillor Celia Osakwe – Hibbert , Special Adviser to the Governor on Diaspora, Dr. Kingsley Ufere, Special Adviser to the Governor on Mining, Sir Innocent Ikpamezie, the General Manager OCDA, HRH Eze Clifford Amadi, the traditional ruler of Amaihe Autonomous Community among others.