By Tobias Ekirika
The executive governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has assured the commitment of the state government to partner with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the organised private sector to achieve his administration’s industrialisation goals.
Governor Soludo gave the assurance at the MAN business/stakeholders town hall meeting in Onitsha.
The governor, who described the community of manufacturers as true partners of progress, recalled his meeting with the landlords’ association and revealed that they had talked about Onitsha and its environs, and the need to revive its fortune as a commercial city of repute.
The governor noted that his administration is already tackling the foundational issues and disclosed that there are plans to pass a law to make touting illegal and punishable by imprisonment for those found guilty.
He stressed that his administration’s major goal is to transform Anambra from a state with a largely informal economy into a hub of industry, technology, and leisure.
Governor Soludo also disclosed that the Anambra industrial policy would soon be implemented, and hinted that a new commissioner for industry has been appointed to support his vision for manufacturing and industrialisation.
“With a sizeable urban population, Anambra’s future lies in industrialisation and manufacturing, and we are dedicated to following this path.
“Our goal for Anambra is to make it a thriving community where people want to live and visit. People won’t be able to invest in the state if they can’t come and feel at home.
“In our master plan, we have also acquired 100 hectares of land that will house the centre of commerce and grow to be Africa’s largest shopping mall, as well as 4,000 hectares of land that will be an industrial city and the Nnewi Automobile Park at Akwaihedi.
“We will develop a power policy now that the Nigerian constitution has been amended to include power on the concurrent list,” he stated.
The governor emphasised that buying local products is the best way to support its growth and urged ndị Anambra living abroad and outside the state to send 25–50% of the taxes they pay to their home country to Anambra, assuring that if they do, the state will be far better for it in five to ten years.
Earlier, the president of MAN, Otunba Francis Meshioye, expressed gratitude to the governor for honouring them with his presence as well as to his colleagues for the cordial reception.
He commended MAN members for sustaining their businesses despite the difficult economic period and emphasised that the role of MAN includes providing foreign exchange as well as deepening ties between the public and private sectors, and manufacturers in particular. He prayed that Dozzy Group’s liaison office would bring good tidings and the inauguration of the Elders’ Committee will forge a way ahead for manufacturers in the state.
On her part, the chairman of MAN (Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi), Lady Ada Chukwudozie, emphasised the need for the government of Anambra State to find solutions to problems related to land allocation, title documents (C/O), and constant power supply for industries to operate efficiently, among others.
Lady Chukwudozie praised the governor for flagging off more than 261 km of roads in the state and suggested that a knowledgeable consultant should be engaged to meet with MAN stakeholders to discuss the issues and come up with solutions.
In attendance at the event were the speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, the Rt Hon. Uchenna Okafor; the deputy speaker, Dr Pascal Agbodike; Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, representing the Anambra South senatorial district; the chairman of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Alfred Achebe; and members of the State Executive Council, among others.
The event also featured the commissioning of MAN’s liaison office provided by the Dozzy Group.