His determination to change the narrative of the state was taken to a notch higher last week when he led a high powered delegation to the presidential Villa, Abuja to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari for a deal that would create over 600,000 jobs.
Outside the drive for the provision of massive roads infrastructure, his vista for meaningful development through job creation has also been so opulent. And so, in the last three and half years he has superintended over the affairs of his people, there is no gainsaying the fact that has has worked assiduously to change the social status of many people, especially the youths for good.
His advocacy for and indeed, efforts in the production and patronage for Made-in-Aba products have earned him a place in the economic cum political annals of Nigeria. Hardly can anyone catch him spotting foreign tailored clothes whether in or outside Nigeria.
This was, however, a vow he made upon his assumption of office as a way of promoting the locally made good and services. Group seeks better working conditions for informal workers in Osun Yet, he is not stopping. He has embarked on other exploits.
This time, his ultimate goal is to take more youths numbering 625,000 off the streets of Umuahia, Ohafia, Arochukwu and Aba and gift them with a more worthwhile venture where they can indeed, put their talents, skills and expertise to task. To realize this dream, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu of Abia State early this year articulated a gigantic project called Enyinmba Economic City, EEC.
This is a signature project that will industrialize not just Abia State but also the south east and south south geopolitical zones. The establishment of the city has seen the governor traversed the length and breath of the world; from Singapore to China and the trips have paid real off.
The city is sitting on a wide field of 9,803 hectares of land, spanning across three Local Government Areas of Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Ugwunagbo in the state. The land is at the center of the five Southeast and four South south States. Located near existing sea ports (Onne and PortHacourt) and proposed Akwa Ibom Deep Sea Port, it has major arterial, intercity roads connections. There is also a proximity to Owerri, PortHacourt and Uyo airports.
It also has functional gas pipelines and boarders Owaza gas fields just as it transverses the existing national rail line from PortHacourt to Maiduguri. SEEFOR budgets N25.2bn for 4 N-Delta states in 2019 The key pillars of EEC is to create a global business hub that connects the nine Southeast and South south States, build first class infrastructure in the location, including dedicated power and attract economic activities that are mainly driven by manufacturing and supported by other uses which included Logistics, Medical, Entertainment, Education, Lifestyle Residential among others.
The target is to attract pro-actively long term local and foreign investments, thereby integrating Nigerian businesses, manufacturing and services, into regional and global supply and value chains. The city would also provide urban housing of over 300,000 units for urban population of more than 1.5 Million people. It is also projected that the city will provide more than 2,000 industrial/ business units, with estimated annual value output of more than $5 billion. The project is a well thought out one, combining the clear focus of the private sector and the enabling powers of the Governments at all level.
Hence, it is a Private Public Partnership (PPP) of Crown Realties Plc, the Host Communities, Abia State Government and the Federal Government of Nigeria under project Made In Nigeria for Export (MINE) of Federal Government of Nigeria.
The First Phase of the project is fully designed and shovel ready and the projection is that construction will commence in Q1, 2019 and various major anchor tenant discussions are progressing well for manufacturing transfers from China, Germany and other Countries to the new city. The positioning and master planning of the city was done by Surbana Jurong of Singapore and CBRE of India in collaboration with local firms.
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