Aba can be the Japan of West Africa – Odenigbo Lecturer
Soon, all roads will be leading to the Enyimba City for made-in-Aba Products – shoes, handbags, belts, and a lot more. Additionally, the army, police, navy and other uniformed forces can, once again, look to Aba rather than China for their paraphernalia.
This is because Aba’s electricity woes is nearly at an end and this has raised hopes that the creative City will bounce back as the industrial hub of the South-East, Nigeria’s success story and Africa’s Japan.
This disclosure was made at this year’s Odenigbo lecture “Nkuzi Odenigbo” delivered by Former Minister of Power Prof. Barth Nnaji, a Professor of Artificial Science & Robotics and Chairman of Geometric Power Limited at Obiri Odenigbo, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Owerri.
Speaking on the topic: Omenka: Ncheputa na Mmeputa, Prof. Nnaji said Aba would enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply because the obstacle has been removed by the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who has ended the war between the two power companies fighting for Aba.
Describing Fashola as courageous, he said what the minister did would go down as one of the best decisions in Nigeria’s beleaguered power industry.
He said Aba can be Japan of Africa, by being supported to the things they have been doing in the past.
He reminded the audience that Gov Okezie Ikpeazu has now and again said that Aba can produce uniforms, boots for the Youth corps members, Soldiers, Navy, Airforce, Police and Road safety.
He said the government of President Buhari will remain challenged with patronizing made- in- Aba goods.
To support the patronage of made in Aba goods he said will create employment and prevent the scarcity of some products we experience due to over dependence on imported goods.
Prof. Nnaji said the greatest problem faced by industries in Aba is lack of power supply. With his company, Geometric Power Limited, coming into the equation, the epileptic power supply in Aba will be a thing of the past.
The Odenigbo lecturer challenged Igbo States governors to come up with policies that will encourage indigenous companies. For example the governors can decide to make INNOSON motors produced in Nnewi Anambra State to be the official vehicles and buses in all government offices and agencies.
The professor said the Aba power project was second to none and would serve the nation well.
Prof. Nnaji said bad roads are one of the major problems of industrialization. For him, governments should leave the work of industrialization to private individuals and concentrate on the provision of infrastructures like roads and water supply.
He said Ndigbo should look into the development and investments that will bring about the economic growth of the region. From clothing to hides and skin and to medicine are areas to explore and make inroads.
Referring to the Ahiajoku Lecture which he delivered in 2009, Prof. Nnaji said he had advised that special attention be paid to the strengthening of the study of science and technology in our schools.
The Odenigbo lecturer said that good electricity, good roads, peaceful co-existence, good medical care, building of industries are the essential ingredients of an industrialized nation.
There is no need, he said, for our people to go on vacation or even remain over seas only to be brought home when they die, just because they want to live in a developed country.
He then said, “let us become the Chinese Guangdong province of Nigeria, the province that brought china to prominence.