The Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has said that the establishment of the Enpower Free Trade Zone in the state necessitates the construction of a second runway at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Governor Ugwuanyi who spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Enpower Free Trade Zone in Enugu, noted that such construction would create room for the expected increase in air traffic at the airport.
The governor further appealed to the federal government to ensure that the airport meets all internationally accepted standards particularly with regard to the length and resurfacing of the existing runway, and installing of facilities that would improve night operations and accommodate heavier aircrafts normally used for international and intercontinental travel.
In his words, “the Enpower Free Trade Zone Enugu which is a Public-Private Partnership with the Enugu State Government was licensed by the Federal Government in December 2015. It is the only free trade zone in the South East region that offers international and domestic investors an easy link to businesses from the south eastern cluster which has been acclaimed as the second largest economic
cluster in Nigeria after the Lagos cluster.”
According to the governor, “today’s ceremony marks another giant leap in our drive for foreign investment as well as the economic diversification roadmap of Enugu state, the South East and that of the country in general”.
Commending President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing the project, Governor Ugwuanyi appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in the rehabilitation of federal roads in the South East particularly those linking the capital cities of the region most of which are in deplorable conditions.
He also made a case for the revival of railway network linking the South East states and the opening of new lines to other parts of the country, including the development of inland ports and jetties in the region to enhance maritime activities.
Earlier, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Czech Republic Embassy in Nigeria, Mrs. Hana Klucarova, said that her country would partner and work with the Enugu State government in order to make the free trade zone a success.
Also speaking, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Enpower Enugu State Free Trade Zone, Engr. Emeka Eneh, said the project would stimulate trade and investment beyond oil when operational as well as provide massive opportunities for employment.
He explained that of the 35 operational free trade zones in the country, Enpower Enugu Free Trade Zone located near the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu and its 9th Mile Corner annex is the first free trade zone to be established in the South East zone. He further thanked everyone who helped in making the dream conceived about a decade ago come true, especially Governor Ugwuanyi who he described as a visionary leader.