The efforts and resolve of the Abia State Government, led by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to expand and increase the wealth of the State has recorded another laudable development with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the state and a private investor in palm, S-ATM Nigeria Limited, on the Abia State palm estate in Ohambele in Ukwa East Local Government Area of the state.
The Palm estate is expected to support the governor’s drive to restore the state as the number one palm producer and create jobs for youths.
Speaking, Hon Azubuike assured the investors that the state government will keep their part of the agreement as Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is in a hurry to return the state to the years of palm plantations dotting the landscape of the state.
Expounding on the MoU, Hon. Azubuike said: “Part of what we have signed now is that S-ATM Nigeria Limited must build an oil mill inside the palm estate there in Ohambele. Also the estate is going to employ over 5000 Abians, with greater percentage of the employment from the Ohambele community.”
Speaking during the MOU signing ceremony, the Managing director of the S-ATM Nigeria Limited, Engr.Ogunleye , assured that his company will fulfill the terms of the agreement including investing the needed funds to realise the goals of the state palm plantation and employ Abians.
According to him, “more than 40% of the company’s employees will be Abia indigenes and we will also utilise the services of the members of the host community, thereby reducing the rate of unemployment in the state”.
The investor and his bankers, UBA Plc, expressed appreciation to the State government for providing the enabling environment for new investors to do business in the state without excessive bureaucratic bottlenecks.
On his part, the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Eme Okoro, who represented Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at the occasion, commended the Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. Uzo Azubuike “for leaving no stone unturned in bringing to materialization one of the pillars of Governor Ikpeazu’s administration in the area of revitalisation of agriculture to create wealth for the State”.