Members of Abia GSM & Components Dealers Association have said it is working to provide a technology incubation platform in the new ICT center under construction, to give entrepreneurs the opportunity to create value in technology and contribute to state development.

The group also assured that the first phase of the new ICT village will be completed in the next 5 months, adding that the relocation will not change what was being done at the present location but rather enhance it.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Honorable Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, Chairman of the group, Nze George Eze said that the idea of constructing the center is to enhance ICT for training and retraining of citizens to become ICT compliant thereby leveraging on Information Technology to promote trade in the state.

Nze George appreciated Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for graciously allocating a place for the construction of an ICT center for the GSM market.

“We have commenced construction and hopefully it will be completed between now and the next 5 months.

“We would not have been able to accomplish our objectives without Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s unwavering support for the union’s vision and mission.

“I applaud the Ministry of Trade and Investment for establishing the policy guidelines that will guide our everyday operations,” he said.

In his remarks, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu assured the group of government’s continued support and commitment to actualize their mission.

He applauded the group for partnering with the government to deliver an ICT center in the state.

“We thank You for partnering with the government to deliver an ICT village in the state. An ICT village is one of the key enablers of Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration’s capacity building agenda.

“The government will support you to ensure that this giant step taken so far becomes a reality. The development of an ICT village will certainly drive growth and development in the State.

“Our aim as a government is to create an enabling environment for our youths to thrive, to express their uncommon creativity and entrepreneurial capacity. We believe that ICT will take us to greater heights by maximizing the potentials therein, and the truth is that we must create enabling environment for that to happen. We must build for the future and for our youths to optimally utilize their talents,” he said.

The Commissioner therefore called on Investors and traders in the state to work in partnership with the ministry to drive and enhance economic growth and development, by taking advantage of the improved ease of doing business in the state.

Continuing, the commissioner said, “Let me also use this opportunity to inform the public that anywhere there’s buying and selling in Abia State, that location is under the supervision of ministry of Trade and Investment, and those trading there must obtain the necessary permits to carry on with their businesses. We will no longer close our eyes and watch every space in the state being converted to markets without due approvals”.

He also called on the developers handling the GSM/ICT Village project to stick to the plan of creating enough parking space to enable free flow of traffic of persons, goods and services around the location.

“We want to ensure the growth of trade and commerce in our state but within a safe and secured environment. Be assured of our support as long as you comply with the relevant operational guidelines“, he said.

Speaking on behalf of other members of the group, Chief Philip Kalu Agwụ thanked Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state and promised to continue to work and partner with the government for the growth and development of the state.

The meeting had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Chief Sir Michael Egwu, Director of Commerce, Mr. M.U. Udensi, and other management staff of the ministry.