History was made earlier Thursday when the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, formally commissioned the state’s first modern shopping mall in Onitsha.
The mall which sits on a 40,000 square meters of land located in highbrow GRA has 12,000 retail spaces to let, 70 in-line stores and 500 parking slots for automobiles.
The commissioning of the mall marks the first bold step by the government of Anambra State to reposition Onitsha as West Africa’s leading destination for modern commerce and an emerging centre for industrial activities, next to Lagos.
The mall is an important component of the Continuity Projects that Governor Obiano inherited from his predecessor and a clear fulfilment of his pledge to continue, complete and commission all projects handed over to him by the immediate past administration.
Governor Obiano described the opening of the mall as a milestone in his administration’s efforts to make the State the centrepiece for commercial activities.
He recalled that the mission statement of his administration was to make Anambra State the 1st Choice Investment Destination and a hub for industrialization and commercial activities while his Mission is to make Anambra State a socially stable, business-friendly environment that would attract both indigenes and foreigners to seek wealth-creating opportunities. He maintained that slowly but steadily, both statements were becoming fulfilled.
The Governor assured that his administration would immediately commence the construction of an access road that would link up the mall from 3-3 Junction to ease up traffic and urged the residents of Onitsha and the surrounding areas to support the mall with their patronage.
Offering fresh insights into the construction of the mall, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu explained that from inception, the Obiano administration had come armed with a well-crafted plan that would turn the state into an investment haven which ensured a smooth transition that led to the speedy completion of the mall.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of African Capital Alliance, partners on the project, Mazi Osita Okonkwo explained that the mall was a product of a successful public private partnership and assured that his organisation had more attractive offerings for Anambra State.
In their separate remarks, a former Deputy Governor in the State, Chief Emeka Sibeudu and a former Commissioner of Police in Delta State and Special Adviser to the Governor on Vigilante Matters, Mr Ikechukwu Aduba observed that the Mall holds great business and employment prospects for Ndi Anambra.
The event ended with a formal inauguration of the retail outlet of Shoprite, the flagship brand of the mall.