Osita Chidoka Ex-minister promises to unlock Anambra’s potential in transportation, logistics sectors

  • Published:
Former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka play

Former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka

(BBC)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, says that one of his major plans was to develop Anambra into a transportation and logistics driven economy if elected as the state’s governor.

Chidoka, a governorship aspirant, told newsmen in Obosi, Idemili North Local Government Area, that the strategic position of the state as a transport hub of the nation had not been harnessed.

Chidoka is contesting for the gubernatorial ticket of the United Progressives Party (UPP) for Nov. 18 Anambra Governorship election.

The former FRSC Corps Marshal said that though a good number of roads had been built by successive administration in Anambra, they were not executed for maximum public gains.

He said the three bridges in Awka added no value to the state but rather the resources spent on them should have been spent on roads that link the state to other geopolitical zones in agreement with Federal Government for financing.

“Tarring roads is all about contracts and kickbacks and appealing to the rich who have big cars, if you must build roads it must be for a purpose.

“Anambra is a natural transportation hub, it is a gateway to the South-East, South-West and North-Central, and we have to unlock the logistics potential of this state by ensuring that we build integrated park system with warehouses.

“If I were a governor today, I will not spend N15 billion building three bridges in Awka; I will rather build the Otuocha road that goes to Idah in Kogi because there is a bridge across the Otuocha River already.

“Opening up Anambra to the North, connecting it to the West and linking it with the South puts us at a great advantage, it releases the energy here, and we want to begin to think in strategic terms.

“My mission is to unlock the values of the properties here with basic infrastructure,’’ he said.

Chidoka said the proposed Anambra cargo airport sited in Umueri, Anambra-East, valued at over two billion dollars was both explained and expensive.

He said the state did not need to spend that much on a project that was far lesser than what Nigerian government did at a lesser cost.

“I totally disagree with the airport proposal; Anambra does not need an airport for 2.2 billion dollars when the Federal Government used 500 million dollars to build four terminals.

“How can the Federal Government borrow 400 million dollar from the Chinese and put its own 100 million dollar to build four terminals with repayment of 12.5 million dollars every quarter.

“But Anambra Government alone invited the Chinese to build an airport for 2.2 billion; how much will it be paying at that amount?

“How much does Lagos International Airport cost Nigeria, what I will do is to build a small airport and grow it organically, airport is a runway not terminal building or cargo sheath,’’ he said.

According to the ex-aviation minister, airport project needs basic infrastructure which was necessary to enable the facility to grow according to the forces of market.

ALSO READ: Former aviation minister, Chidoka joins Anambra guber race

“The basic infrastructure we have to put in place is the runway and landing gear, I will ask the private sector come and build cargo sections and when I finish, I will ensure that the airport grows naturally at no cost to the people.

“The whole passenger flow in Nigeria’s airport is between five to six million passengers, what will be the share of Anambra from that traffic?

“Heathrow airport grew from terminal one to terminal two and now terminal five, there is no traffic study for the airport, no passengers, they say it will be a cargo airport and fuel dump, where is the fuel and refining capacity for aviation fuel called Jet A1?

“Let us come down from this high horse, there is no five-star hotel in the whole of South-East because the economy has not supported it; why will I tell you I want build a five-star hotel in Aguleri Airport,’’ he said.