Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has given the go ahead for the state to enter into discussion with a Hungarian company, Ortoprofil, to set up a manufacturing plant in the state.
This was the outcome of a meeting between senior officials of the Abia State Government, led by the Governor and top officials of the Hungarian Government, led by Mr. Gabor Kruss, Deputy Ambassador Embassy of Hungary, Nigeria, at the weekend.
Ortoprofil is a Hungarian medical Service Provider with its own affiliate manufacturing custom-made, high quality limb prostheses (lower limb and upper limb prosthesis ranging from aesthetics to body-powered applications), electronic and mechanic wheelchairs and orthopedic/therapeutic shoes, insoles for flat-foot and diabetic foot.
The Hungarian delegation, who was received by Governor Otti in Isialangwa, came with various propositions in different sectors they expressed interest to collaborate and partner with the Abia State Government, ranging from Energy, Health, Education, Agriculture, Sports, provision of portable drinking water among others.
After presentations by Ambassador Kruss and Judith Beres, Economic Counselor Embassy of Hungary, Nigeria, the Abia Government team, which included commissioners for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Dr. Chimezie Ukaegbu; Education, Prof Uche Eme-Uche; and Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, deliberated on the different options after which decision was made to go with Ortoprofil.
“The first time we met, we talked about cooperation in the area of healthcare development. I know that you spent over a million dollars retrofitting St. Charles Hospital in Anambra. We will be very interested in that kind of cooperation.
“The Ortoprofil manufacturing plant has been approved. The details will be worked out. I will direct the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Industry to liaise with the Commissioner for Lands, who is not here right now, so that we can provide the half hectare of land for them anywhere they choose,” Dr. Otti said, while voicing his seal of approval.
He continued, “That would be some form of partnership. We would provide the land without asking for payment for it, that will be our contribution. From what is stated here, they have 1.5 million dollars to invest. I’m actually looking at a company that will produce prosthetics for upper and lower limbs. I believe they can also produce a whole lot of things including shoes or raw materials.
“For us there are two important things, the production that is happening here and creation of jobs for our people. The production increases our GDP and hopefully our Internally Generated Revenue.”
Governor Otti said the government would also be looking at opportunities in the area of education.
According to him, “The area of scholarship is also something we want to take advantage of. We have a lot of our young people with various initiatives, they are inventors and very innovative in thinking even if they didn’t go to proper school. We will encourage them to go to school. They are better inventors when they go to school.”
However, the Governor described the rest of the discussions as bordering on “profit and loss”, adding that the government would have to put them on the table for proper scrutiny.
Also part of the Hungarian team was Mr.Chris Eruba, project Manager Embassy of Hungary, Nigeria.