Shoprite, the leading retailer globally is set to open shop in many cities in Anambra State, starting from Onitsha, where the Governor of the State, Peter Obi laid the foundation for a big, ultra modern shopping mall which the State is constructing in partnership with African Capital Alliance under Private Public Partnership (PPP), yesterday.
Laying the foundation, Governor Obi said that it was in line with his commitment to the transformation of Anambra State, which, according to him, included returning Onitsha to its past glory as the number one commercial city in Nigeria and hosting the biggest market in West Africa.
The Mall, located at the side of the Onitsha Hotel and Convention Centre, is situated on vast ground that boasts enough space for the level of commercial activities the mall will expectedly host. The Governor promised to provide facilities to boost activities in the area, including dualisation of Park Road, the entrance into the complex.
Obi said that the foundation for two of such malls would also be laid in Awka and Nnewi. He assured the people of the State that there was no need to panic or entertain fear, as his Government has already saved enough money for various projects his Government being executing or billed to be flagged-off. “It is my belief that a Governor should work for his people unceasingly. Many people wonder why I keep working and flagging off projects even when I am supposed to be winding up, but I believe a Governor should work for his people in season and out of season. I shall continue to work till I handover, especially to make things easier for my successor,” Obi said.
Speaking at the event, the Attorney General of the State, Barr. Peter Afuba said that Governor Obi put in a lot towards the project, to be financed jointly by African Capital Alliance and Anambra State Government through Private Public Partnership (PPP). He explained that after construction that Shoprite would serve as anchor tenants.
In his remarks, a Senior Manager with African Capital Alliance, Mr Osita Okonkwo said the project would cost over 30 million dollars, with 15,000 sq. meter of shopping and retail spaces. He said the money was coming from international financial institution as foreign direct investment and that it was not possible to attract such money to Anambra State before Governor Obi and that its possibility now was because of stability and good governance Anambra is enjoying under Obi now. Okonkwor recalled how Obi visited Shelter Afrique in Kenya, when he was there and how he showed much passion for the growth and development of Anambra State.
It is wonderful to hear of this good news coming out of my beloved state made possible by God using a willing Vessel Called Mr Peter Obi.