The people of Nnewi Federal Constituency in Anambra State will soon have an automotive industrial park.
The initiative, Nnewi Automotive Industrial Park (NAIP), is courtesy of Mr. Chris Emeka Azubogu, the lawmaker representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo in the House of Representatives.
Azubogu said: “This project is aimed at addressing the challenges facing the automotive industry, particularly in Nnewi and Anambra State. Already, it has received the approval of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and National Automobiles Design and Development. This will help many in the area to learn skills, own businesses and earn some decent living.”
He regretted that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria today was youth unemployment and promised to do his best to attract opportunities for many to earn a living.
Through his Chris Azubogu Foundation, the lawmaker had executed various welfare projects that ensured that people got value for living, aside from his regular donation of bags of rice and other foodstuff as well as clothing and cash to many indigent people.
One of the beneficiaries, Chika Chukwunoso, said: “Every December 24, he celebrates his birthday with the indigent. Many people smile home with lots of goodies. He empowers hundreds of youths across various communities in Nnewi, in collaboration with the Technology Incubation Centre, Nnewi.
“The participants benefit from entrepreneurial skills like ICT, leatherworks, food processing, website designing, digital and marketing skills, beads and hat-making.”
A community leader, Chief Okoye Anazodo, expressed happiness with Azubogu’s initiative, acknowledging that he has attracted various projects to the area.
“He has helped us to build and rehabilitate various roads and bridges and provided pipe-borne water and a sub-power station.
“Erosion is a problem in this area. He has been helpful in tackling that. Some communities now have new classroom blocks built for them. Some have electricity transformers given to them while others have benefited from his solar-powered streetlights. In fact, there is no single community in this constituency that has not benefited.
“There are other major projects. Some have been completed, and work is progressing on some. There is the over six kilometre Ukwu-Offor Umudim Nnewi/Agwuria Ukpor Road, with a bridge and culverts, the NEDDI Road with a bridge now completed, and the Umuezena-Umudim Nnewi road with a bridge. It leads to the permanent site of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) and by extension to Oraifite.”
Romanus Chigbo, who said he was a beneficiary of the lawmaker’s medical outreach programme in Nnewi, noted that: “Many patients of various ages were there. We received medical care from doctors in attendance and free drugs too.”
Our correspondent learnt that Azubogu’s medical scheme was carried out simultaneously at St. Michael’s Parish, Amakwa-Ozubulu, in Ekwusigo LGA, and Ukpor Central School field, in Nnewi South LGA, last year. Various surgeries were also held at Ozubulu Joint Hospital and the NAUTH, Nnewi.
One of the participants said it was a resounding success, with many medical experts, led by Dr. Joseph Kigbu, in attendance. They diagnosed patients of various ailments like hypertension, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and carried out blood sugar test, ultrasound scans and eye surgeries, among other exercises.
Overall, the health mission, it was learnt, was anchored by a team of medical consultants led by Dr. Joseph Ugbaja of NAUTH, Nnewi, and Dr. Emmanuel Esili of the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta State. Rev. Sr. Theresa Abaraonye and other community leaders, Chief Augustine Obi (Ozubulu) and Sir Martino Mojekwu (Ukpor), were also present.
Kigbu stated that 36 patients received free surgeries for general/gynecological problems, 31 with cataract cases received free eye surgeries and reading glasses, while more than 5,000 people were treated for different health problems, including fibroids and tumours, diabetes and other health issues.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Helen Nzube, from Ozubulu, received free fibroid surgery estimated at N750,000.