By Stanley Onyekwere
A group of Chinese investors looks set to establish world-class automobile parts hub in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as part its auto parts project initiative, to help tackle unemployment and poverty.
To this end, a delegation of China Shandong Auto Parts Chamber of Commerce is currently in the nation’s capital city, engaging city managers and other relevant officials of the FCT Administration, on paving way for it’s project to take off.
Receiving the delegation, FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, expressed hope that the visit would initiate a lasting, fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship between FCTA and the China Shandong Chambers of Commerce.
Bello said the FCTA is ever ready to welcome with open hands any investor that is going to further advance the rapid and inclusive development of the Territory.
He acknowledged the support of the Chinese government to the FCT Administration especially in the areas of Education, public utilities such as the physical construction of schools and transportation.
The Minister reiterated the commitment of the FCT Administration to creating enabling environment for both foreign and local investors, because of their potentials to bolster the FCT economy and create job opportunities.
He however adds: “We want to see what you have so that we see where we can synergise for the development of the industry.”
Earlier, a presentation by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), show-cased different sectors of the FCT’s economy where the trade and investment group could key into. These include Mass Housing, Transportation and Tourism.
In particular, the delegation was informed that the FCT Master plan already has earmarked a zone for informal sector in Wasa, and that such investment like spare parts manufacturing and sales have already been provided for in the arrangement.
In his remarks, the President, China Shandong Auto Parts Chamber of Commerce, and leader of the delegation, Zhou LiPing, disclosed that China had a large market of auto parts, and looks forward to partnering with Abuja, to bring their products and services closer to the end-users.
Mr. Liping projected that the volume of investment the group intends to bring would bring over 10,000 jobs.
He noted his organisation has already acquired a space in Lagos for a large warehouse and indicated that their interest and next destination is in Abuja.
According to him, his group plans to build factories where they would be producing the auto parts in the next five years.
Our correspondent reports that an interactive section chaired by the Executive Secretary, FCDA, Umar Gambo Jibrin, featured presentations by the Managing Director, Abuja Enterprise Agency (AEA), Muhammad Tukur Arabi and Acting Director Abuja Investment Agency/ Director Economic Planning Research and Statistics, Abubakar Pai, both called on the investors to key into existing initiatives to boost the auto parts business, by working to facilitate the setting up the manufacturing of auto parts in Abuja.
Equally, both heads of agencies urged the delegation to help boost the industry by ensuring that the auto parts are manufactured in Abuja in the nearest future.
It could be recalled that in September, a retinue of top government functionaries, including the FCT Minster, had accompanied President, Muhammadu Buhari, for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, (FOCAC) confidence in China.