There was jubilation yesterday at the round-off ceremony of Enugu state International Investment Summit as the management of the Air Peace Airline announced that the federal government has approved the airline to operate international flights to five countries.
The approval permits Airpeace to operate flights to Atlanta in the United States, China, India, Dubai and to Johannesburg in South Africa.
The approval was announced by the chairman of the airline, Mr. Allen Onyema, who said the development coupled with the plans of the carrier would make Enugu and the South East Zone a business hub for airline operations in the country since it would be plying China direct from Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Also, the minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, announced urgent plans by the federal government to reactivate the moribund Skills Acquisition Centre in Enugu.
The two announcements were part of the major highlights during the grand closing session of the three-day investment summit hosted by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who told the gathering yesterday that there was no going back in the resolve of his administration to create a business and investment haven in Enugu state more than ever before.
Both Ngige and Onyema as well as the transport mogul and chairman of Peace Mass Transit Ltd, Dr. Sam Onyishi, addressed the closing session of the summit with the airline operator explaining that Mr. President gave the approval for the international status two weeks ago.
The Labour minister who commended Governor Ugwuanyi for the initiative of putting the summit together stated that he would leave the summit ground yesterday to visit the said moribund federal Skills Acquisition Centre in Enugu with the aim of revamping it to make it handy for mopping up a good size of the army of unemployed youth in the South East zone.
Apparently overjoyed in view of the large turnout at the summit, Governor Ugwuanyi who performed the closing ceremony said “it has indeed been an amazing, exciting and I must say, highly successful three days in this historic City where in concert with some of the most illustrious business concerns and experts, we all sat in council to chart the socio-economic and industrial future of Enugu State and by extension, that of the entire South East region.
“I must say that Enugu State will never be same again for we have not only successfully showcased the vast potentials of the state to the global business world but, from the reactions of participants at the summit, it does appear that we have been able to provoke an unprecedented and unequivocal interest from investors across the world in the idea of bringing their businesses to Enugu.
“The journey to prosperity and economic transformation of the State has therefore undoubtedly commenced and I wish to thank all the Captains of Industry, the financial institutions, the embassies, our erudite guest speakers, experts and specialists in diverse fields and the very eminent and revered personalities who travelled from all over the world to be part of the summit”, said the governor who was in high spirit.