Thursday, 20 May 2021

Obiano unveils international Market with over 10,000 capacity shops in Anambra


 Ukpa Ewa, | 20th May 2021 

AWKA - Anambra State Government has unveiled the prototype of the Awka Capital Territory Ultra Modern International Market located in Isiagu, Awka South Local Government Area of the state to boost develop of trade, commerce and wealth creation.

 This is coming barely three weeks after the test running of the state's Cargo and Passenger Airport in Umueri, Anambra East Local Government Area of the state which is also believed to be a great boost to trade, commerce and wealth creation in the state.

Speaking at the event, Governor Willie Obiano, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, commended the host community, Isiagu, for providing 20.8 hectares of land for the market project. He also commended Key Stone Bank, which he said, bought into the idea, and provided funds for the project.

 "The vision for embarking on this project is to make Anambra State a home for economic activities and investment destination". 

Trade and Commerce is one of the five pillars of the Willie Obiano administration, and this ultra modern market speaks a whole lot about this".

 It is our belief that the construction company handling the project will deliver on schedule. It is also our belief that the host community will give every necessary support for the actualization of the dream," he said.

The state's Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Chief Uchenna Okafor, who described commerce as a determinant for economic stability, called on Anambra traders in diaspora to come home to invest.

"When I assumed office as Hon. Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, I embarked on wide tour of some parts of the world, where I realized that Anambra's greatest business strength is outside the country". 

I also realized that if our people doing businesses in different parts of the world would repatriate even 10% of their investments to Anambra, the state will be better than Dubai and Taiwan".

"Obiano's government is always willing to support any investment that can add value to the lives of our people. So, I will request the private sector to come into the state to invest, because, no government will succeed without the active participation of the private sector," he said.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ASIPPA, Mr. Jide Ikeakor, said at least, 35% of Nigeria's commercial (trade) activities are controlled by Anambra businessmen alone.

He added that the Ultra Modern International Market in Isiagu holds great potentials for the state, both during and after its construction, as, according to him, a lot of job opportunities would come up along the construction and business chains".


Earlier in his address, Chairman of J.C Michaels Nig. Ltd, the contractor handling the project, Hon. Jude Amuzie, assisted by the Company Secretary Barr Ikechukwu Ibeto, said the project came into fruition in a Public Private Partnership, arrangement between the Anambra State government and J.C Michael Nig. Ltd, which he said, was signed in 2017.

According to him, the market project, as envisioned, was intended to be developed as a lock-up shop capacity ultra modern market at Isiagu, within the Awka capital territory. 

The market, he said, would consist mainly of lock-up shops and showrooms. 

"It will also have such facilities as modern abattoir, warehouses, commercial shopper car park, police station, fire service station, food court, schools (crèche, nursery and primary), banks, clinics, conveniences, an administrative building, etc.


"This is in addition to basic infrastructure such as the proposed dual carriage way that will pass through the market, and three other alternative routes and the overhead pedestal crossing commuting the entire market," he said

He  maintained that the market would act as a rallying point for all Eastern traders, boost business practices in the state, and provide opportunity for Anambra businessmen in the diaspora to bring back their investments in the spirit of think home mantra.

"Already, the chairman of the 19 Northern states markets association have indicated interest that they would need over 3,000 shops".

"Similar requests are being made by Lagos traders, who have suffered in the hands of successive governments, who kept moving and shifting them around from one location to another. Our Eastern traders scattered throughout Europe and America has continued to contact us to buy shops".


"No doubt, this market will contribute to the various landmarks and legacy projects under Obiano's administration, which include but not limited the International Cargo and Passenger Airport in Umueri, Awka Township Stadium, Awka International Conference Center, among others".

Also speaking, the President, Awka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, ACCIMA, Pastor Stephen Nduaguba, while commending the present administration in Anmabra for always initiating projects that serves the business community, said the Chamber would, on its own, galvanize its members and the business community to see to the successful off-take of the ultra modern market.

Speaking on behalf of traditional rulers, Igwe Ben Emeka of Umueri community in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state, harped on the activities of roadside traders, which he said, always constituted nuisance in various markets in the state. 

According to him, traders display their merchandise on roadsides, even when there are empty shops in the market, "as if they will not sell unless they bring their wares on the roads."


He also expressed worry that traders park their vehicles on roadsides, thereby, narrowing the roads, and causing congestion in the markets. 

He challenged concerned authorities, especially market leaders and government, to do their best to ensure that provisions are made for parks whenever new markets are built in the state. 

However, he advised the initiator of the new international market to ensure that activities in the market were a clear departure from what was obtained in other existing markets.

Speaking on behalf of Presidents General of communities in the state, the National President, Anambra State Association of Town Unions, ASATU, Barr Titus Nnabike Akpudo, described the new market project as a welcome development. 

"This is an opportunity for our people to bring part of their businesses home. Igbo are known for trade and commerce. In as much as we invest outside Anambra, it also becomes necessary to repatriate part of our businesses back home for the purpose of development, wealth creation and employment generation," he said.

 The ceremony attracted state government functionaries, officials of the state Ministry of Trade and Commerce, officials of the Awka Chamber of Commerce, financial institutions, traditional rulers and town union leaders, market leaders, among others.