Governor Willie Obiano’s dream of leaving an enduring legacy with the world class Anambra Airport City Project has received a massive boost, following the assurances from Elite International Investment Holding Company Limited, the Hong Kong-based Chinese partners to the project that a team of experts would be arriving in October to commence site activities in the location designated for the project.
More cheery news from China on the project also indicate that its Chinese partners have secured a financial guarantee from one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world today to facilitate the immediate commencement of the project and its eventual completion.
This is the outcome of the recent tour of China by a delegation of the Anambra State Government led by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, which was principally undertaken to review the scope and layout design of the Anambra Airport City Master Plan by all the partners to the project, including China Aviation Experts, Sino King/Elite Group, Orient Petroleum Resources PLC., Anambra State Government, Osike Synergy Limited and Emsworth Oil & Gas Limited at both the Chinese capital of Beijing and its business hub of Guangzhou.
The Anambra Airport City Project is modelled after the finest traditions of all Build-Operate-Manage-Transfer (BOMT) agreements and will not cost Anambra State a dime. The only cost to the state is the value of the 1,500 hectares of land on which the project will stand on completion.
The review meeting followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the parties in April this year in Awka to officially mark the commencement of the partnership on the project, which activities will commence in October 2017 with a topographical and geological surveys of the site designated for the airport at Umueri in Anambra East Local Government Area of the state.
The review meeting created an avenue for the Anambra delegation to comment on the scope and designs produced by the Chinese partners and for the Chinese design team members to ask questions and seek clarifications on the level of work done by the Anambra team, which both parties addressed to the satisfaction of all.
Already, Anambra State Government is in possession of the 3D visuals and layout of the Master Plan of the airport, which was produced by China Aviation Planning and Design Institute, showing with staggering clarity the smallest details of the project and its overall aesthetic appearance when completed.
In a joint communiqué signed by Prof Chukwulobelu on behalf of the Anambra State Government and Engr. Sunny Okoye on behalf of Orient Petroleum and their Chinese partners, all the parties expressed satisfaction with the strategy, scope, depth and quality of the air traffic harbour (airport city) developed for the state to serve as a centre of excellence for local, regional and international flights, dependable source of quality jet fuel, centre for commerce and trade between Nigeria and China as well as aviation hub for West Africa, which is projected to grow into a continental aviation hub.
The Anambra delegation had requested for the 3D visual images and a concise activity plan, including field works agreed as steps to be taken in the build up to the start of construction work at the airport after assuring their Chinese partners that the state had obtained a licence and all the necessary certification for the operation of the airport.
Consequently, the Anambra delegation and their Chinese counterparts agreed on what should be the next steps and a timeline of activities on the airport, which stipulates that the Chinese work team would be on the project site in October 2017 and that they would delineate and conduct topographical survey on the designated area in November of the same year.
Further agreements include the preparation and production of the Master Plan, review of the detailed geological sub-soil surveys and analysis as well as the issuance of detailed airport only technical design drawings.
All the parties to the project re-affirmed their irrevocable commitment, including funding commitment to the development, completion, commissioning and operation of the project in view of the volume of work done so far.
It would be recalled that the Anambra Airport City Project is the single largest foreign direct investment inflow into South East Nigeria this year when its initial value was estimated at $2bn at the point of the signing of the memorandum of Understanding on April 10 this year.
The value of the project, which entails the construction of an ultramodern aviation city from the scratch has doubled with the financial backing of one of the leading financial institutions in the world today guaranteeing the funding of the project.
The Anambra Airport City Project is a resounding fulfilment of the Vision Statement of Governor Willie Obiano, which is to make Anambra State the first choice investment destination and the hub for industrialisation and commercial activities.
With the imminent injection of a whopping $5bn into the economy of Anambra State and the thousands of direct and indirect jobs that this project will spin off both at construction and operational stages, Governor Willie Obiano would have set the stage for the eventual rebirth of the South East region.