David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The federal government has received the certificate of occupancy for over 80 hectares of land donated to it by the Anambra State Government for the construction of an automotive industrial park.
The state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, handed the certificate of occupancy (C of O) to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah, yesterday at the site in Unubi.
The land was donated by three communities, Akwaihedi and Unubi in Nnewi South Local Government Area and Uga in Aguata council area.
Obiano, who handed the certificate to the minister, stated that the land which is above 80 hectares was half of what was requested by the federal government from the state for the automotive industrial park, but because of unsavoury experience the state had with past government, it refused to donate fully.
“I thank Unubi, Akwaihedi and Uga communities for accepting to donate this land. We are giving this, which is half of what the federal government requested, and we believe that when we begin to see the benefits, we will donate even more.
“Anambra has the least land mass in the country, and erosion is further depleting our land, so we do not have land to give to anyone for free, but we have seen that this government wants effective partnership with states, so that is why we are donating this,” Obiano said.
He added that the land was donated free of charge and has no condition attached, but said the C of O bears a caveat which states that the land must be developed within 18 months.
Enelamah, in his speech, thanked the Anambra people for their hospitality and acceptance to give out the land, while assuring them that work will start on the land soon, and that the full benefits of the park will accrue to the people as development and employment are part of the benefits.
He said: “From my childhood, I had always known Anambra people to be very industrious, and you cannot talk about industrialisation in Nigeria without talking about Anambra or Nnewi. When I was called upon to serve, I told myself that we must industrialise Nigeria, and Anambra is the right place to start achieving that.”
The minister said the federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari is passionate about partnering states, and that the partnership entered will boost infrastructure in the state and also provide employment opportunities.
He added that the park, when it becomes fully functional, would attract investors to the state, which is one thing he has also been discussing with the governor on how to attract investors to the state.
The event was also attended by Aminu Jalau, the Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, traditional rulers in the state and members of the state executive council.