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Anambra @ 27: Transforming fears to feats, legacies 

 

LIKE every other state (Subordinate or national), Anambra State is faced with a lot of economic needs and challenges in a world governed by trends of globalization, and international economic relations.

The challenges of limited land mass for both agricultural and industrial activities, sufficient availability of food to sustain the ever growing population of the state, providing sufficient modern education for their children, health hazards, efficient road network to empower and enhance free flow of persons, goods and services, security necessary for peaceful environment, and massive youth unemployment (among others), stare Anambra State on the face daily.

 

These challenges are always in the increase because of the economic usefulness of Anambra State.

The State is widely known for her large trade and commercial activities in Nnewi and Onitsha that provide the link between the state and other parts of the federation, as well as some West-African States. The problem is further compounded by daily influx of people seeking habitation.

Within the state are so many conglomerates. There are tiger foods, Ibeto Group, Innoson, Cosharis, Chicason Group, among others. These companies are notable for their wide investments in automobile, petrochemicals, hospitals, cement and even financial services.

Beyond Anambra State, the sons and daughters of the state are major contributors to trading and other commercial activities in Nigeria and West African sub-region.

As reported by Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA), the state ranks first in commercial trade volume in the Old Eastern region but behind Lagos in the western region and Kano in the Northern region.

It is known that Nigeria, like other African States has no production but buying and selling, although successive administrations in Anambra State have tried in one way or the other to tackle these problems without much success.

Before now, Anambra had high reputation for security challenges (with no landmark infrastructure). To reposition the state, the present administration, anchoring on the global development agenda, endeavours to bring about a

new face of investment and production strategies.

Governor Willie Obiano, having served in the banking industry, no doubt, is aware of the backwardness of not only Anambra State but also Nigeria, among other African States in the global economy.

He knew quite well that repositing Nigeria, through his bottom – up approach to development calls for both policy and intellectual review of trends and patterns of substructures – production system in terms of export capacity and infrastructural facilities. Little wonder, his administration pursues an economic agenda that seeks to promote trade, commerce and industrialization.

Hence, he did not only highlight an implementation plan in its economic blueprint but pursues them vigorously.

The Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA) and Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency (ANSIPPA) are the nuclei for his driving Anambra towards industrialization necessary for improved trade and commerce in the state and beyond. These have attracted heavy investments in industries, power, refineries, oil and

gas that boost trade and commercial activities.

Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture has facilitated the production and exportation of vegetables in significant quantities.

Collaborating with ABX World Inc., a Lagos – based logistics firm, Anambra State Government has launched a drive for that has located UK and many European markets as suitable markets for Anambra farm produce.

The state has also expanded rice production across swamp areas and suitable irrigation table lands for both domestic and export purposes using the Omor and Anaku Co-operative rice mills.

The state has also engaged in creating numerous employment opportunities for her youths and able bodied men and women. To further enhance self-reliance and productivity, the state has also initiated several skill acquisition centres in all the zones of the state.

The government has efficient revenue drive. Strategies from viable markets and business premises, among others that have generated me about 24 billion.

billions of naira as Internally Generated Revenue over the years in progress are: Construction of world class international cargo and passenger airport in Umueri to the Onitsha Seaport.;

Procurement of new asphalt plant to aid cost effective road construction and maintenance, especially in rural areas and low density roads and reconstruction of inner city broad and rehabilitation of roads through the zero pothole initiative expected to consume about 24 billion.

Others are Okija 1500 MW capital project by century power Generation Limited; Vision for kick starting an innovative project where 61 major registered markets will have the opportunity to implement a project of their choice to the tune of a maximum of N10 million towards enhancing market environs; Construction of Industrial parks in Anambra to boost industrialization and economic development.;

Exploration of Anambra States abundant gas deposit to improve power generation; Provision of adequate power supply to the industrial zones to boost the capacity utilization of all manufacturers. Towards this, the state has entered into memoranda of understanding with numerous power providers, including Zolt Energy Limited that would gulp over 21560.3 million dollars in power generation.

capacity utilization of all manufacturers. Towards this, the state has entered into memoranda of understanding with numerous power providers, including Zolt Energy Limited that would gulp over 21560.3 million dollars in power generation.

All these diversified, expansive and comprehensive, development initiatives, coupled with efficient security network, have propelled local and foreign investors to invest in Anambra State towards achieving her aim of becoming a global player and a prototype for Nigeria and African nations to eliminate the spectre of Africa’s marginalization in global economic system and practice.

In addition, the government’s four pillars of development and enablers have not only yielded tremendous result on all sectors but have put Anambra State on the fore of the healthiest state in Nigeria.

Finally, the successes realized so far from the government’s economic policies have boosted the Gross Domestic Capacity of not only Anambra State, but Nigeria as a whole.

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