NewsReel 19/3/15 - Willie Obiano At One Year: The Urgency Of An Airport And Industrial Parks In Anambra State

 [ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - Time flies by stealth and demands a reckoning sooner than we expect. Looking back, it seems just weeks away that on the 17th of March 2014 Peter Obi winded up his chequered tenure, being the first governor in the history of the state to complete an elusive eight year tenure amidst the turbulence and intrigues of that era. He was duly replaced by Chief Willie Obiano who was sworn in on the same day after a gruelling election. Yet the significance of the end of the Obi era and the beginning of the Obiano era which has now stealthily clocked one year is hinged on what has been done and what needs to be done. As Obiano reflects on the last one year it must be obvious that there needs to be deliberate speed in actualising critical infrastructure projects that can justify the passage of time. Like every clime, Anambra needs a visionary and audacious leader that will unlock the abundant human and material resources of the state for revolutionary economic and infrastructural development. Obiano seems to be that man, but the jury is still out to determine if he really is that man. That definitive decision would come with the infrastructural, economic, social and cultural development he is able to implant in the state in record time.




Given the intrigues, injustices, dishonesty, contradictions and prejudice in Nigeria it is obvious that appreciable development can only come to a state or region through aggressive self efforts and initiatives. We simply cannot develop except we act as agents and drivers of our own development through the initiation of infrastructure that will propel it. Many projects have long been conceptualised for the rapid opening and development of the state; chief among them an international cargo/ passenger airport, dedicated industrial parks and others such as real estate, Nollywood home entertainment village/park, innovation/adaptation technology parks, Awka capital territory development, football academy amongst others all of which can be undertaken at minimal cost to government through public private partnerships. All that is needed being to initiate and drive the projects with the necessary incentives.


Many governors have come and gone without actualising capacity building infrastructure such as the Airport project and the special industrial parks that has been top on the list. For an upwardly mobile people with significant presence in commerce and industry, an airport to service the mobile population and to ferry goods is a long stated necessity that has unfortunately been ignored by past administrations. Both foreign and local travellers, businesses and industries, arts and entertainment amongst others will be significantly boosted by an airport that services their critical needs with the attendant significant multiplier effects.


Special industrial parks to boost expand and consolidate commerce and industry which should come naturally must count as one of the most tragic omissions of previous administrations in the state. With the predominance of people of Eastern origin in the revolutionary Nollywood entertainment industry, the construction of a modern Nollywood village/park is a long overdue necessity. While the real estate sector to house a growing elite and returning Diaspora in modern estates has been overlooked. The direct and multiplier effects of these initiatives and infrastructure amongst others would have opened up the state and helped to address the apocalyptic youth unemployment crisis. As he celebrates one year in office, Obiano has a renewed opportunity to break the jinx and urgently commence the long proposed construction of an Airport, a veritable legacy project that should ideally be operational before his second or third year in office. While there are already some industrial clusters, Obiano should urgently take it further by creating special industrial or business parks with modern infrastructure that can accommodate businesses and industries with an international scope. These special parks can be located in the three senatorial zones for spread and in Nnewi, Awka, Onitsha and other urban settlements. These initiatives alongside others in real estate, Awka capital territory development, urban renewal, Nollywood, sports etc will justify the passage of time and the inevitable reckoning as Obiano approaches his fourth year and seeks a new mandate.


A simple lesson of leadership as Napoleon Bonaparte once said is that “a leader or government must dazzle and astonish”. This clearly establishes the necessity of a government or leadership to continuously dazzle and astonish his subjects through breathtaking economic and infrastructural projects, a strategy for which Napoleon Bonaparte, Ramses and all subsequent great leaders are noted. Obiano should inculcate the basic lessons of Napoleon Bonaparte’s creed of leadership, dazzling and astonishing his subjects through monumental infrastructural projects that will stand as physical testimonies of his stewardship as his regime contends with the speed of time. Given the stealth and speed of time, his third and fourth year are just around the corner and deliberate haste is doubly required if his declared vision and task of building a first class state of international standards can be accomplished.


Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: ) reports.


*Photo Caption - Governor Chief Willie Obiano

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