From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Anambra State government says it has concluded plans with Anambra JC Michaels Nigeria Limited under a Public Private Partnership arrangement to build state-of-the-art ultra modern international market.
The market with 10,000 shops capacity is estimated to cost about N47billion which would occupy a land space of about 20.8 hectres at Isiagu, Awka-South Local Government Area.
During his inspection of the project site, weekend, to monitor the extent of work done so far, Governor Willie Obiano described it as a market for tomorrow with the capacity to further improve the commercial profile and strengthen the economy of the State.
Governor Obiano said, on completion that the market would be first of its kind in Sub-Sahara Africa with modern facilities like internet connectivity, access roads, hospitals, schools, banks, flyovers and basement.
The Governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu and the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chief Primus Odili explained that locating the market away from Awka was strategic to decongest the Awka town and ease traffic.
He assured that the State government would play its role by putting access roads to the project site, adding that with the presence of a financier, the market would be completed on record time.
Earlier, the Chairman, Anambra JC Michael Nigeria Limited, Chief Jude Amuzie explained that the market was designed to provide unique features in making transactions easier and faster under conducive atmosphere.
Chief Amuzie disclosed that the market structure would be completed in phases, explaining that seventeen buildings with 120 lock-up shops each would be ready for use by April, 2021.
He commended Governor Obiano for reposing confidence on the company and assured that State government’s dream for better economic prospects for the State through modern market would be actualized.
He appealed to the State government to assist the project by providing access roads, adding that this would ease movement of machines and equipment to the site.
Mr Anayo Nwosu, who spoke on behalf of the management of Keystone Bank Plc (the financier) described the ultra modern market as a gateway to other projects that would promote the economic prospects of Anambra State and assured that the Bank was committed to the project.
Mr Nwosu, therefore, called for patronage from all citizens, investors and business communities from the zone.
The traditional ruler of Isiagu, HRH Igwe Augustine Nwankwo expressed joy that the project had started and assured of his community support for the progress of the project.
Igwe Nwankwo commended the Governor for siting the project in the town and promised that Isiagu would continue to support the State government and All Progressives Grand Alliance for recognizing the community.
Also in attendance were the Hon Commissioner for Commerce, Uche Okafor, his counterpart in Housing, Arch Michael Okonkwo and Rev. Okwosa of the Anambra Capital Development Authority (ACDA), among others.