Professor Osinbajo said this when Governor Ikpeazu led a delegation of some top functionaries of Abia State Government alongside top Aba business/industry leaders to a meeting with the Acting President and top federal government functionaries at Abuja (today) yesterday.
According to a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ikpeazu, Mr. Enyinnaya Appolos, the meeting which held at the Acting President's office in Aso Rock Villa Abuja, was a follow up meeting on the economic development plan of the state, especially as it concerns support for the growth of Small Scale and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Aba.
While commending Governor Ikpeazu's "smart business approach to governance", Professor Osinbajo restated that "Aba is very strategic and important to the country in terms of innovation, manufacturing and production."
According to the Acting President, "Nigeria has no business with China if all hands are on deck to develop Aba as a major industrial Base."
He also commended Governor Ikpeazu's unflinching campaign for made-in-Aba products. He stressed that the made-in-Aba campaign has raised the tempo in demand for Aba made goods, maintaining that the quality of made-in-Aba products have improved across board.
Prof Osibanjo also said that the Federal Government will focus closely on Aba and what is happening there going forward.
Professor Osinbajo singled out
National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAGDAC) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) as federal agencies that should ensure that Aba business community have no difficulty registering their products.
While making his presentation, Governor Ikpeazu outlined his administration's MSME development plan for Aba industrial zone and
thanked the FG for partnering with the state to develop the economy of Aba and Abia State.
Governor Ikpeazu also stressed the need for rapid development of Aba as the SME capital of Nigeria, adding that Aba has the capacity and potentials to make Nigeria truly the 'giant of Africa'.
According to Governor Ikpeazu: "If Aba is given adequate attention, which include infrastructural and human capacity development, it has the potential and capacity, as the SME capital of Nigeria, to position Nigeria as truly the giant of Africa.
"Our government is doing all we can to ensure the infrastructural turnaround of Aba within the limited resources of the state, but we can't do it alone, that is why we are thankful to the Federal Government for showing very strong interest in partnering with us to develop Aba as the SME capital of our dear country-Nigeria."
Speaking on the campaign for made-in-Aba goods, Governor Ikpeazu said: "it is our collective resolve to promote goods and services made in Aba, and we will not relent in the campaign. We call on the Federal Government and multinational companies as well as individuals to, not only join us in the campaigns, but also patronize made-in-Aba goods. We are also looking forward to the time when all government procurements will give priority to locally manufactured goods to support local producers"
In his response, the Acting President expressed appreciation for the Governor's knowledge of the issues at stake and informed him that the FG will support him because they feel his desire and commitment to develop Abia State.
Also speaking, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Dr Okey Enelama informed Governor Ikpeazu that the FG is already thinking in line with him, adding that the development of Aba industrial zone is part of the 2017 budget of the federal government, and said that the project will soon come on stream.
The meeting had in attendance, the Ag President Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okey Enelama, the minster of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, the Acting MD of Bank of Industries (BoI) Ag DG of NAFDAC, Director General of SON, the Registrar General CAC, and DG NEPC.
Governor Ikpeazu was accompanied to the meeting by his Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mrs Kate Nwosu, and Commissioner for Industry, Chief Henry Ikoh.