Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has said ongoing efforts to transform the dilapidated infrastructure in Aba was aimed at positioning the commercial city as investment destination.
He stated this at the inauguration of three reconstructed roads in Aba to mark his first 100 days in office, saying Enyimba City was already adorning the look of a new bride to attract suitors from global business communities.
Otti, stated that good infrastructure was a sure bait for attracting local and foreign investments, adding that he had taken practical steps to make Aba irresistible for investors.
“We have come because the world needs to know that Aba is back as a favourite investment destination, a thriving commercial hub and a goldmine of opportunities,” he said.
“We are here not to pat ourselves on the back, but to let the message out that any investor who is not already in Aba may find himself playing second fiddle in no time”.
The three inaugurated roads include the 1.8km Emelogu road, 0.5km Cemetery road and Shalom, all in Aba. The three reconstructed roads were among the five road projects the Otti administration undertook on assumption of office, aiming to make them ready within the first 100 days.
However, works are still ongoing on the other two roads, Umuimo and Jubileee, while the inauguration of the three completed ones could not take place exactly on the first 100 days.
The delay as explained by government was due to the realisation that the accompanying street lights had to be put in place before the inauguration of the roads.
Otti, who performed the whistle-stop inauguration late Friday evening, said his administration had put in place a holistic plan for urban renewal for Aba.
The ultimate goal, according to him, was to make Enyimba City a centre of excellence which would attract and retain the best brains in various human endeavours – businesses, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), arts and entertainment.
Otti, vowed that with his plan for the infrastructural turnaround of the commercial city, it, “would never be the same again” as Aba would become become a functional city.
“Aba must work,” he insisted, adding that “our desire is to build the best of everything in Aba: the best roads, modern markets, best hospital facilities and, of course, the hotels and conference centres”.
The former bank boss was emphatic that the commercial city would regain its past glory and the world would know that Aba was being reshaped for the global business community to come and invest again.
He said Aba was already displaying signs of an emerging new city, adding that residents, “can attest to the fact that a new thing is happening in Aba.”
Aside tackling the dilapidated road infrastructure, the Abia State Governor reeled out other plans he has in store for the city, including building hotels and international conference centre, recreational and industrial parks, among other facilities.
He said: “While we are moving fast to fix the roads, our vision to rebuild Aba is more robust and all-encompassing: we have a plan to build transport hubs, family friendly recreational facilities and ICT innovation parks in different parts of Aba and across the state.
“Additionally, we are speaking with investors who are keen on partnering with existing shareholders to deliver a World-Class Hotel and Conference Centre at the site of the present Enyimba Hotels.
“We are working to get the commercial and legal frameworks ready before the end of the year. And when that is done, Aba will become not just a city that is renowned for trade and commerce but a favourite destination for global business and social events.”