Posted by News Express | 4 December 2014 | 4,660 times
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has laid the foundational cornerstone for the proposed multi-million dollar West Africa Inter-Continental Trade Centre to be built in Ogbunike, Oyi Local Government of the state.
The proposed Trade Centre is a major component of the Trade and Commerce category of Governor Obiano’s Four Pillars of Development. The other pillars are agriculture, industrialisation and oil and gas. Already, Obiano has made remarkable efforts in exploiting the pillar of agriculture; attracting over $500m investments to the sector.
On completion, the Intercontinental Trade Centre is expected to be the largest and most comprehensive commercial and entertainment complex in Africa, accommodating a large number of wholesale plazas and retail clusters, state-of-the-art residential blocks, eateries, convention centers, a boutique hotel and a motel that will all be operated by leading brands across the globe.
Located about 7 kilometres away from the Onitsha Main Market, West Africa’s largest market, the Intercontinental Trade Centre is conceived as a one-stop commercial landmark in the entire south-eastern economic bloc and a symbol of the entrepreneurial and commercial acumen of Ndigbo.
A spokesman for Obiano said the Trade Centre “will also serve as a sanctuary of hope for all Nigerian entrepreneurs who are looking for a friendly business climate to begin their lives anew after being dislocated by the encyclical violence in the northern parts of Nigeria and the relentless despoliation caused by Boko Haram.”
Laying the foundation stone of the Trade Centre yesterday, the governor said: “Today marks a remarkable day in the history of our great state. It is a sure sign that our people are marching in the right direction. Recall that my administration is focused on Four Pillars. Today I am happy that we have attracted the much-needed investment in the trade and commerce sector. This symbolic groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction works on the most modern market in Africa right here in our beloved state.”
Giving an insight into the equity structure of the project, Obiano revealed that the state government controls 7 percent while the host community holds 2.5 percent of the equity.
According to him, “the $350m that is projected for this market is broken down as follows – $15.74bn will be expended on infrastructure, $4.9bn will be spent on providing electricity to the centre while $31.8bn will go into the construction of residential areas in a new layout that takes into consideration the factory layout style of the project. My administration will do everything to make this project a resounding success.” The governor appealed to all stake holders to rise to the challenge and deliver the project in 42 months as projected.
Earlier in his remarks, Obiora Anyaralu, President, West Africa International Trade Centre, said: “I do not see any reason why we should not have something that is of international standard; something that we can appeal to our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and the Diaspora to come home and invest in. We have always done our best to invest and develop other places but we have never taken the need to invest in our home state seriously. But all that has come to an end under the leadership of Governor Obiano.”
In his own remarks, Mr. Dominic Menouh, Managing Director of SGN Housing and Infrastructures Limited, the funding partners, thanked Governor Obiano for having the inspiration to envision a world class market that compares only to the very best in Europe and America.
Said he: “This is a market that not only integrates the Nigerian idea of a place of commerce but a market that represents a point of gathering, a point of entertainment and a location where people can meet and socialise. Indeed it is the first time that a market of this type will be built in Nigeria and Africa.”
•Photo shows Governor Obiano during laying the foundation for the West Africa Inter-Continental Trade Centre, Ogbunike.
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