The Government of Enugu State has rolled out plans to hold a Diaspora Investment Forum that would see the state reap $2 billion in investment interests in the first year.
The state governor, Peter Mbah, who made this known in Enugu assured investors of the state readiness to partner with them.
The event tagged “The Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum” and planned for April 2024, will be heralded by a couple events.
The events include the Investment and Economic Growth Stakeholder Roundtable scheduled for September 2023 to inform key stakeholders about upcoming investors’ days, Diaspora Forum in December 2023, to bring together the diaspora investing community, and Closed Boardrooms in March 2024 to “close deals and mobilise institutional partners with investment interests in curated projects”.
Mbah disclosed this at a press conference which he addressed at the Government House, Enugu, on Monday.
He stressed that Enugu was open for business and welcomed all project sponsors, domestic and international financial institutions, and development partners, even as he urged the diaspora community to invest in Enugu State to deliver transformative development outcomes for their people.
“The Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum will be a multi-stakeholder, fully transactional platform championed by the Enugu State Government to accelerate the identification, preparation, curation, and financial closure of investment projects to achieve the State’s Private Sector-Led Economic Transformation Agenda.
“In its first year, the Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum aims to attract at least US$2 billion in investment interests” Mbah stated.
Throwing more light on the planned Forum, he said: “In September 2023, the Investment and Economic Growth Stakeholder Roundtable will bring together bilateral and multilateral development partners, as well as senior-level executives from commercial banks, public and corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private equity funds, infrastructure funds, and other domestic financial institutions for a systematic discussion on advancing viable investment opportunities in the state as my administration steers Enugu State on a path of private sector-led economic growth.
“The Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum (ES-DIF) and the series of preliminary business and investment roundtables will be implemented by a Diaspora and Investment Unit established within my office, which will be tasked with the responsibility of working with relevant government agencies, project sponsors, domestic and international financial institutions, private investors including the diaspora investing community, and development partners to crowd in capital for critical development programmes and projects in priority sectors that can improve Enugu State’s global competitiveness and drive suitable development programmes.
“The Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum will, among others, identify and curate projects to bankability; work with relevant government agencies to facilitate policy reforms, technical assistance support and innovative partnerships; mobilize capital for bankable projects, including net-zero aligned projects that can unlock the economic potential of Enugu State and South-Eastern Nigeria; implement an annual investment marketplace with special boardrooms for government agencies, potential investors, and project sponsors to match and mutually de-risk projects; and accelerate the financial closure of investment deals brought to the ES-DIF platform by public and private investors”.
According to the governor, the Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Forum will comprise six interdependent activity areas, namely: Enugu State Diaspora and Investment (ESDI) Platform, ESDI Market Place, ESDI Forum Investors’ Day, a Deal Tracker, Policy Environment Reforms, and a Diaspora Engagement Programme.
The governor said his announcement of the planned Forum, Monday, marked the takeoff of the work of the Enugu State Diaspora and Investment Unit.
It is recalled that Mbah had in his manifesto committed to raising Enugu’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from $4.4 billion to $30 billion in eight years.