Nnewi — The Second Nnewi International Auto Trade Fair scheduled to commerce on Friday November 27 to 7th December 2009 has been flagged off by the Anambra State Governor, Mr Peter Obi, during which the first made in Nigeria Vehicles manufactured by an indigenous company in Nnewi, Innoson Nigeria Limited was unveiled.
The event being held at the prestigious Beverly Hills Hotel Limited Nnewi, in Anambra State, also had as participants almost all the manufacturing companies within the business enclave, including other co-operate organizations owned by indigenes of the industrial community that are sited across the State.
In his address at the opening ceremony, the Governor Mr Peter Obi who was represented by the secretary to the State Government Chief Paul Odenigwe described Nnewi as the maker of the Nigerian auto industry that had over time attracted nationals from other African countries and beyond who according to him troop into the industrial community for auto goods which they either use personally or re-sale with considerable profit in their various home markets.
Governor Obi further described Nnewi as the auto mobile capital of the West African sub-region which he said are specialised in the production of serviceable parts like motorcycles, bicycles, as well as vehicles that ply on our roads.
He also noted that there is no doubt that Nnewi is the special hub of the industrialisation of Anambra State, expressing hope that the business enclave will continue to grow in auto and related business both nationally and internationally.
Said he " I can say without fear of contradiction that the much envisaged Nigerian car which is already at the auto fair will come out of the ingenuity of our Nnewi based manufacturing company"
The State Governor most sincerely expressed his gratitude to all the participants who found time to be part of the epoch making event, while wishing them rich dividend in their investment and contact that they are about to be made.
He therefore commended the Nnewi chamber of commerce, industry, mines and Agriculture for putting up the unique show, even as he urged them not to rest on their oars in keeping with the State's long standing policy of promoting investment. He assured the chamber that their efforts will not only be supported by government but also promoted.
Also presenting his address, the National President of the Nigerian Association of chambers of commerce industry, mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Dr Simon .C. Okolo commended the untiring efforts and high sense of determination demonstrated by the chamber in organizing the fair inspite of some economic challenges resulting from the global meltdown.
Dr Okolo noted that the choice of the theme of this year's fair, "Repositioning Nigerian Economy Through Industrialization-The Nnewi Experience" is very timely and appropriate especially this period that the federal government of Nigeria is making frantic efforts in its 7 Point Agenda and Millennium Development Goals to diversify the economy away from oil to non-oil, through the promotion of its industrialization process aimed at producing highly technical and managerial manpower needed in the industrial sector to the growth and development of the nation.
He postulated that for government to achieve the feat ahead of it, it as a matter of necessity must produce the needed enabling environment as well as provide adequate infrastructural facilities like good road network, telecommunication, adequate water and power supply, security of life and property, saying that it is upon the provisions of all these that Nigeria's quest to become one of the twenty most industrialized nations in the world by the year 20-20-20 could be realised.
The President however used the opportunity to express the association's dismay at the recent embarrassment created by the lawmakers when Mr. President according to him was prevented form making his 2010 budget presentation to the joint session of the legislative houses, even as he pleaded with the executive and legislative arms of government to seriously address the perennial problems experienced with budgetary processes.
Earlier in his address, the President of Nnewi Chamber of Commerce, Prince Emeka Ayabazu expressed his appreciation to all who contributed in one way or the other to ensure a successful outing and however used the forum to identify some of the problems facing the association which he said include the problem of raw materials and components acquisition, problem of finance, technology, manpower, marketing as well as lack of government assistance in the provision of basic infrastructural facilities to aid productivity.
Prince Ayabazu however assured that the association would do everything within its reach to ensure that the Nnewi auto trade fair becomes an annual event. He also commended the State Governor for his relentless effort in ensuring that developmental projects is attracted to the State, citing the dredging of the River Niger as a step in the right direction.