Onitsha — Still basking in the euphoria of strong approval by Anambra people on his first 100 days in office and in furtherance of his four '4C' paradigm to continue, to complete, to commission, and to commence new projects, Governor Willie Obiano has again embarked on inspection tour of projects in parts of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi with a view to improving infrastructure across the state. In this regard, the three strategic cities of the state were agog as Governor Obiano inspected ongoing projects and commenced new ones. The governor gave the contractors handling the various projects including the three shopping malls in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi a maximum of 10 months' deadline to complete the job.
Some of the projects sites included the Onitsha Shopping Mall, which houses mega projects like International Hotel, Shopping Mall and Convention Centre and has a capacity to accommodate 5,000 persons. The premises houses Radison Blue, an adjoining hotel project that is planned as the first world-class hospitality spot in Onitsha.
Speaking soon after inspecting the projects last week, Obiano said that he had exacted commitment from the contractor handling the projects that they would be completed in 10 months, adding that a wide expanse of roads links the three the projects.
He revealed that the projects would have been ready in three months but could not due to shoddy performance of the previous contractor, which led to the revocation of the contract and generation of certificates and full mobilisation of the new contractor, Engr. Emejulu, CEO of Akiota Works Limited to take over and deliver the projects on time.
He described the aesthetics look of the projects as very good, pointing out that when completed the edifice would compare to Shoprite in Enugu and Shopping Mall in Lagos.
According to Obiano, "We are going to bring to the state a new shopping experience quite different to the business environment they are used to. The event centre will attract functions from neighbouring states in particular."
Giving further assurance, the governor said "the entire place will be very important in South-East zone. We have 40 apartment buildings coming up. I thank my predecessor for having the vision to start the project and we are definitely going to complete it in record time."
Speaking to newsmen, the contractor, Engr. Emejulu said that the original plan of the contract was to have about 90 rooms, but following adjustments made by authorities of Radisson Blue, the number of rooms increased to 150 rooms. He said the project was at the 7th floor stage, assuring that the job would be ready in January 2014, as according to him, government had shown enough zeal to carry out the projects and fully mobilised his firm for the contract as agreed.
Similarly, Governor Obiano in keeping with his Vision "for Anambra State to become the first choice investment destination and a hub for industrialisation and commercial activities and his Mission "to create a socially stable, business friendly environment that will attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth creating opportunities in Anambra State, stormed the Anambra International Market Oba in Idemili South Local Government Area of the State to inspect the extent of work at the site.
The governor assured that his administration would do everything possible turn the site into a hub of commercial activity, added that the recent provision of power supply in the market would improve business activities, and appreciated the foresight of the initiators and the provision of dual carriageway of about two kilometres within the market, with facilities that can take up to 1000 parked vehicles.
Obiano said: "This is clearly an international market; it will be interlocked and provided with infrastructures like light. When completed, this market will go a long way in helping to decongest the ever busy Onitsha main market."
Responding, the Group Executive Chairman of Bulkham Group, Bukar M. Hassan, assured that 1,600 stalls proposed for the market would be ready by December this year, extolling the foresightedness of the governor which he said is a motivational factor for the group to excel in the execution of the project.
Governor Willie Obiano was and received by equally enthusiastic residents and traders at Nnewi as he stormed the Shoprite Centre located at the former Nkwo-Nnewi Triangle where he appreciated the pioneering business wizardly of the indigenes of the area led by the late Sir Louis Philip Odumegwu-Ojukwu, whom he recalled was so successful in business that when the Queen of England visited Nigeria many decades ago, he offered the Federal Government his personal Rolls Royce Car to chauffer her around.
The governor told the contracting firm, traders, residents and natives that he came on an inspection visit to assess the ongoing work, noting that "what we are constructing here is unprecedented. We don't have this type of mall anywhere. The car park is on top of the mall, It is a befitting edifice to support the business acumen of Nnewi people."
Continuing, the governor stated, "Nnewi people are enterprising. We are giving them a mall so that they can have a befitting business experience. The building will be completed by December this year while business will commence in April 2015." The governor further assured that the road around the site would be dualised in anticipation of an increase in traffic, expressing confidence that the premises would take any number of vehicle given that vehicles would be parked on top of the project while cultural activities of the people would also take place on top of the project.
Governor Obiano called on the people to support the All Progressives Grand Alliance and his government. He assured that he would continue with the projects started by his predecessor in the spirit of continuity, stressing that "we are trying to introduce other ways of doing business in a comfortable atmosphere." He also stated that his administration was highlighting security one of its enablers for which the 'Operation Nkpochapu' had been moved to Nnewi and fully mobilised for operations.
He stressed, "We are still mopping up after some of the hoodlums relocated from Onitsha and we will not tolerate this kind of miscreants in Anambra State," and urged the people in the area to do their business without any fear or rancour.
While receiving the governor, the Nnewi North Local Government Chairman, Chief Emeka Ojukwu jnr, thanked him for coming to Nnewi to ensure that projects were going according to plan and assured that the local government and the people are delighted with his stewardship and development projects.