2019: SMART’S LEGISLATIVE AGENDA (Part 1)
ONA Axis Development Bill:
If viewed from the obvious, Anambra State appears to be the only state throughout the Federation of Nigeria that has three (3) major cities that can drive the economic prosperity of the state; they are Nnewi, Onitsha and Awka.
Onitsha is the commercial city of Anambra State, though it is gradually also becoming an industrial city. It is not only a trade centre but also a production centre. The Onitsha Main Market is the biggest market in West Africa.
Awka is the state capital of Anambra. It is also turning into a commercial city. In Awka, we have one of the biggest universities in Nigeria, government structures and housing estates.
Nnewi is the industrial and commercial nerve centre of Anambra. Nnewi is largely called the Japan of Africa due to its controlling stake in the industrial cum commercial activities in Anambra in particular and Nigeria at large. It is on record that Nnewi came to limelight economically in the 70’s when the town started controlling motor and motorcycle spare parts trade in Nigeria. That made Nkwo Nnewi the largest auto and motorcycle spare parts market in West Africa.
These three cities have provided opportunities for millions of entrepreneurs and have generated billions of Naira as revenue for the state government.
However, the shift in human migration has posed problems to the available infrastructural provision in these three cities.
As a result, these three cities are having serious problems with inadequate and deteriorating road networks, walkways, unregulated building patterns, sanitation, uncontrolled street trading, mountains of garbage, and chaotic transport systems, creating congestion, overcrowding noise and air pollution.
There appears to be much pressure on the amenities and social services in these cities.
The future growth of Anambra State economy is tied to the development of Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka because it generates the highest amount of the Internally Generated Revenue of the state. With each day, the population and needs of Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka continue to increase to reflect this important role. These cities will remain the first port of call for eager thousands of youths from all parts of the state and environs, who long for means of survival.
Presently, it is obvious that the state allocation that these three cities receive is not enough to meet the developmental needs of these cities.
The candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) for House of Assembly, Nnewi-North, Nonso Okafor (Smart), as a man who understands the issues of development and economy, is assuring Ndi Nnewi that if given the opportunity to represent the great constituency at the state legislative chamber, he would sponsor a bill called “ONA Axis Development Bill”.
ONA Axis Development Bill seeks to make it a law that a percentage of the state’s annual budget be dedicated towards developing the ONA Axis (Onitsha, Nnewi and Awka), which generates the highest revenue used to run the state.
This law is expected to act as a catalyst to develop the commercial and industrial potentials of the ONA axes as well as address the infrastructural deficit of the three cities.
When passed into law, it will help address the road infrastructure, industrial development, housing, waste management, water supply and health and educational facilities of these three cities which will help turn the cities into successful urban areas to generate employment, wealth and provide high living standards for its residents.
The fact remains that any investment made in those three cities is an investment in the future of Nigeria. It is an investment that protects and supports Anambra State capacity to earn more resources, support more businesses, expand businesses and address several other developmental challenges bedevilling the state.
Since the future growth of Anambra State economy is tied to the development of the ONA axis which hosts over 75 per cent of Anambra State industrial and commercial activities, generates over 70% of the Internally Generated Revenue of the state and have over 75% of the workforce of the state, this bill will help fast-track the development of the three cities and maintain existing infrastructure.