In what is seen as a practical move to develop tourism sector, create jobs and attract huge revenue from local and foreign tourists, the governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Africa Project Finance and Development Limited for the development of Ogbunike Cave into a world-class Theme Park and Resort at the cost of N250 million. Under the arrangement okayed at the governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, the company will design, develop, finance, construct and operate the state-of-the-art Park and Resort.
The equity distribution of the agreement allocates 75 percent to the company, 15 percent to the State government, 5 percent to Oyi Local Government Area and another 5 percent to Ifite-Ogbunike, while 3 percent will be used for the development and social responsibility projects in the area. Governor Obiano in his speech said the project would provide comprehensive entertainment centre and facilitate total exploration of the Cave and make it attractive for tourism. He assured that the project would be handled by a world-class contractor who would give the State quality facilities for tourism and relaxation.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Chief Tony Onyima explained that following governor Obiano’s passion and directive to transform the old age Cave that had been ignored over the years, the Ministry and Anambra State Investment Protection and Promotion Agency (ANSIPPA) accelerated work in attracting the investor and concluded modalities for the partnership to harness the potentials of the Cave.
Chief Onyima pointed out that schedule for the implementation of the project had been worked out and assured that by next year some of the projects would be ready for commissioning and would transform the State with multiplier effect. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Joachim Nwagbo noted that within one year, governor Obiano had turned the State into first choice investment destination with effective security system and stable socio-political environment attractive for direct funding of projects and strategic development initiatives. Mr. Nwagbo said in addition to the Ogbunike Cave project, the company was equally ready to finance an airport project, modern transport scheme and has N1.4 billion to invest on inter-State rail system.
Earlier, the Chairman of ANSIPPA Igwe Cyril Enweze, who is the traditional ruler of Uumuoji and a renown technocrat elaborated that the project would include nature and games reserves, water park, hotels, museums, retain and dining facilities, amphitheater, cultural centre, lake and river sports, among other recreation activities. Igwe Enweze explained further that the project had immense benefits for the State including mass direct and indirect employment opportunities and transfer of skill and technology.