Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, has emphasised his commitment to partner with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the organised private sector to achieve his administration’s industrialisation agenda.
Soludo gave the assurance at the MAN Business/Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting in Onitsha, according to a statement by his Press Secretary, Christian Aburime, on Saturday.
The governor, who described the community of manufacturers as true partners of progress in the industrialisation policy, revealed that they had talked about Onitsha and its environs, and the need to revive its fortune as a commercial city of repute.
He, however, 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 for industry, technology, and leisure.
Soludo also disclosed that the Anambra industrial policy would soon be implemented, adding that a new commissioner for industry had been appointed to support his vision for manufacturing and industrialisation.
He said, “With a sizable 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.”
Earlier, the President of MAN, 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, private sector and manufacturers in particular.
On her part, the chairman of MAN (Anambra, Enugu, and Ebonyi states), 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), constant power supply for industries to operate efficiently, among others.
Chukwudozie praised the governor for flagging off more than 261km 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.