By John Ndu : Anambra State Government has inaugurated the construction of a multi-billion dollars International Airport City Project.
The flag off of the project took place at Ivite Umueri, in Anambra East local government area.
The project with estimated cost of $ 2 billion Dollars is a partnership between the Government of Anambra State, Orient Petroleum Resources Limited and Sinoking Enterprises Investments Limited of China. It was facilitated by Elite International Investment Holdings Limited.
The multi-billion dollar Airport City Project would accommodate an airport with two runways, an aviation fuel dump, an airport hotel, an industrial business park, an international convention centre as well as a facility for aircraft maintenance.
Umueri airport city project is conceived to join some of the most advanced airports in the world with a capacity to land any of the most sophisticated vessels known to man today and it would be delivered in 3 years time.
It sits on 1500 hectares of land with enough elbowroom for expansion from Ivite Umueri to neighbouring communities such as Nando, Umunya, Otuocha, Aguleri, Nteje, Nsugbe and beyond.
Under the contractual agreement, Sinoking Enterprises Investment Ltd will contribute 75% of the total cost and Orient Petroleum Resources Limited will contribute 20% while the Government of Anambra State will contribute 5%. The host community of Umueri is entitled to 3% of the profit from this project in perpetuity as a part of the standard corporate social responsibility.
Speaking while performing the inauguration ceremony, the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano said the historic event was in line with his campaign promises to expand the frontiers of excellence, towards making the state the first choice investment destination and a hub for industrialisation.
Governor Obiano stated the enormous economic benefits of the airport such as creation of over 1,200 direct and 3600 indirect jobs, where 70% of the jobs would be allotted to the people of the state in continuation of his efforts to create wealth and prosperity for the people. It would also provide an opportunity for training and skills transfer to our people.
Chief Obiano maintained that on completion, the Umueri Airport City Project would wipe out the difficulties businessmen and women in the state often encounter in exporting and importing goods and services and would help in improving the entire supply chain.
In addition to opening a new economic corridor for our beloved state as it is expected to stimulate growth in the oil and gas sector and multiply our revenue sources the Governor noted that the airport when completed, the world would have a direct and easy access to the vast tourism offerings of Ogbunike Cave and Ogbaukwu Caves and Waterfalls as well as the timeless archaeological treasures of Igboukwu.
“With this project and our subsequent plan for a light rail project, Anambra State will eventually assume its rightful place as a major commercial and industrial hub in the West African sub-region. As you are aware, my administration is intensely focused on building projects that have immense economic values.
Against all expectations and at a time of great economic recession, we have established our beloved state as a compelling investment destination and attracted investments valued at over 5 billion US Dollars. And with this airport city project, the figure now stands at 7.2 billion US Dollars.” the Governor added.
Chairman of Orient Petroleum Resources and the former Secretary General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku reassured the partners of the commitment of the present administration in ensuring the completion of the project.
Chief Anyaoku commended the governor for creating enabling environment for business to thrive, saying the present administration had given hope and provided opportunities for future generations to thrive.
Speaking separately the Chairman Sino King Investment Ltd, Mrs Huang Zhi Hni and the Deputy Director, Chinese Aviation Planning and Designing Institute, Mr Sun Zhi he, expressed satisfaction to partner with the state government for better development of the state.
The duo maintained that the airport would have facilities to transform Nigeria and the State in particular, saying the airport would also have capacity to accommodate biggest cargo and as well strengthen the company’s partnership with Nigeria.
They observed that the airport would boost local economy and improve the standard of living of the people.
They revealed that the Chinese company would fund the construction of the airport in totality and manage it for training and retraining of Anambra youths.
The Chairman Anambra State Investments Promotion and Protection Agency, HRH, Igwe Cyril Enweze revealed that it would ease or possibly eliminate the current situation whereby merchants were engulfed in the very prolonged processes of importation of goods in specific regions, thereby improving the efficiency of the supply chain.
Igwe Enweze said in addition to the social responsibilities the host community would enjoy, it would equally enhance exportation of goods to different states and countries.
The highlights were the inauguration of the project which was performed by the State governor, Chief Willie Obiano, as well as different cultural displays.
Source: Anambra State Government