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Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has announced that his administration is close to establishing a Commission dedicated to facilitating the ease of doing Business.
Governor Alex Otti shared his commitment to positioning Abia as an attractive investment hub while hosting a team from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), led by Mr. Olaoba Ayotunde, the Abia State Branch Controller.
As the former Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Otti expressed his concern regarding the challenges faced by investors interested in investing in the state. He made a resolute commitment to eliminate these hurdles.
Otti, who stressed the urgency of state transformation, asserted that the Commission’s creation is essential in order to remove the obstacles encountered by citizens and sincere investors as they endeavour to invest in the state.
‘We will set up a committee or commission on the Ease of Doing Business, which will look at some of the stumbling blocks to the ease of doing business, including the issuance of Certificate of Occupancy, Business Registration; ease at which Government responds, transfer of titles/and so on.’
‘We also do know that if it is not easy to do business, people will go to where it is easy to do business. So, we lose by not addressing all the issues.’
Having listened to his guests’ concerns about the complexities surrounding the acquisition of a Certificate of Occupancy, Governor Otti promised to take action and offer his assistance.
‘I agree with you completely. Sometimes recovery becomes a problem when you extend some of these supports that you mentioned. We must go back to think of, first of all, how to encourage our people to benefit from some of the items you mentioned. Most importantly, to also support you in recovering.’
‘You also noted the issue of Certificate of Occupancy. It’s one of the items that don’t help the State in the ease of doing business. The last time I checked, we were somewhere around the twenties out of the 36 States. That is not a good place to be for a State that is both the commercial and industrial nerve center of the South East.’
Beforehand, the CBN team congratulated the Governor on his impressive victory in the March 18, 2023 governorship election.
They affirmed their commitment to supporting his development efforts, taking note of his background in the banking sector, which they consider a shared professional bond.
‘We are glad that someone, a very senior colleague, is heading a State Government. That means those of us in the banking industry should be able to relate easier with the State Government,’ said Mr Kelechi Adiele, Spokesman of the team.
The CBN team apprised the Governor of the apex bank’s decision to allocate CBN palliatives, comprising food items, to Abia State, aiming to alleviate the biting effects resulting from the removal of fuel subsidy.
Furthermore, the CBN team reiterated their willingness to collaborate with the Abia State Government in various areas, including the establishment of a Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) Village, financing agricultural ventures, supporting cooperatives, and implementing other developmental and empowerment programs.