Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has assured that the Federal Government would address the issue of power and forex to mitigate the harshness the industrialists face.
Speaking during his one day visit to the commercial cities of Nnewi and Onitsha respectively, where he took time to visit companies like Chicason group, Pokobros Group, Innoson Vehicle manufacturing company among others, he described Anambra as the industrial hope of the Nigeria.
Osinbajo who described the Chairman/CEO of Chicason group, Dr Chika Okafor as one of leading industrialists in Africa, said the Federal Government was passionate in supporting local manufacturers to excel not only in Anambra state but the entire country.
He said the Federal Government; led by President Mohammdu Buhari would give all companies the necessary support they need to succeed.
Osinbajo said that already, the Federal Government had adopted a policy of buying locally manufactured goods as a measure to encourage local manufacturers, adding that during the federal executive council meeting on Wednesday that FG had ordered that Innoson Vehicles be distributed to federal road safety commission (FRSC).
When the vice president visited Chicason group at Nnewi, he said “I’m inspired, I’m impressed with what is happening here at Chicason group, especially the number of people employed by his companies, and President, Muhammadu Buhari is more inspired.”
The Vice President expressed delight at the volume of productivity in Nnewi which he noted was the industrial heartland of Nigeria.
He said, “I have heard and seen many of the Innoson Motors in Abuja as well as many other goods produced in companies like Chikason, Tummy Tummy and other business concerns in Nnewi”
“I have being to Onitsha before coming to Nnewi and I must state that I am overwhelmed by the level of ingenuity, creativity and productivity of the manufacturers here.
“The vehicles produced in IVM are top quality and I have equally seen the large number of young men and women employed by these concerns.
“The Federal Government will encourage them so that they will continue to employ our people.”
He said he came to Anambra state on a working tour to ascertain for himself firsthand the challenges confronting the manufacturers and industrialists in the state and to see how the Federal Government could assist.
When he visited Harbour industrial Estate in Onitsha, he told the manufacturers that president Buhari specifically sent him to Anambra to discuss with manufacturers to know their challenges.
Earlier in his welcome address the chairman of Pokobros group, Chief Paul Okonkwo raised the alarm that the recession in the country, had forced the manufacturing companies in Onitsha to sack over 5,000 of their workers.
He therefore appealed to the Federal Government to fashion out plans to revive the economy, adding that other challenges being faced by manufacturers in the state were lack of electricity supply, forex, while calling for a free trade zone in Onitsha.
Anambra State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, while speaking, described Osinbajo as a man of his words.
The governor said he had earlier discussed the problems of Anambra manufacturers with the vice president at Abuja, where according to him, he promised to visit the state for that purpose.
He said, “Today the Vice President is here with us and I assure you that the problems you would raise here today, he would address them.”
Osinbajo took time to attend a town hall meeting at the Prof Dora Akunyili women development center were he marshalled out plans by the federal government to getting it right for the people.
The vice president visited the state with minister of labour and employment, Senator Chris Ngige, minister of women’s affairs, Senator Aisha Alhassan, special adviser to the president on social investment, Aisha Maryann among others.