Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Governor Alex Otti, has promised to provide friendly environment for investors in Abia State.
The Governor gave the assurance on Tuesday when he received in audience the Management of Nigerian Breweries PLC who paid him a business visit.
The Governor promised that his administration will do everything possible to support the NBL and other genuine businesses in the state to remain afloat.
According to the Governor, his government has reformed the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and introduced the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as well as legislated on multiple taxation, all in the bid to enhance ease of doing business in the state.
He said; “We are a business friendly government and we believe there’s only so much the government can do.
“We have reformed like you rightly pointed out the entire system with respect to internally generated revenue, so that you don’t see people on the streets with clubs chasing citizens and our corporate businesses. We believe that if you appreciate what government is doing, you will willingly pay your tax.
“We have also legislated away multiple taxation so you pay directly to the government. We will keep doing that, we know there will always be hiccups, people will resist change like it is but at the end of the day they begin to appreciate that what government is doing is better for them and everybody.
“Our government will do everything possible to support you to remain in Abia. If there is anything we can do as a government, don’t hesitate to call our attention to it.”
The Governor encouraged the NBL to be a good corporate citizen and to create more job opportunities for the people. He noted that the creation of job is the panacea to reducing insecurity, noting that a lot of insecurity is fueled by unemployment and high level of poverty.
He promised that his government would look into one of the requests of the NBL team to repair the road leading to the company’s facility.
Earlier in her speech, the Corporate Affairs Director NBL, Shade Morgan, who led the team, on behalf of the company’s managing director, Mr Hans Essaadi, told the Governor that the NBL has been operational in the state since 1967 and has continued to invest in the state.
According to her, the company has been discharging its social corporate responsibilities and has constructed and renovated classroom blocks in many communities in the state while its community investment in the area of health, water, electricity, had been ongoing.
She highlighted some of the challenges confronting their operations to include poor state of road leading to the company and requested the Governor to address the deplorable 1.7 km road to retain investments in the area.
Morgan commended the Governor for introducing the Treasury Single Account system which she noted will enhance ease of doing business, granting waiver for their trucks and encouraged government to continue to boost security and restated their commitment to partnering the state government.