Soludo Plans Rail Project for Anambra with Canadian Firm

By Jude Atupulazi

Governor Chukwuma Soludo has contracted a Canadian-based infrastructure advisory organisation, CPCS Transcom Limited, to prepare and design a master plan for rail line network for Anambra State, in a move that will revolutionize transportation in the state.

The rail lines are to run from Onitsha, the state’s commercial nerve centre, to Ihiala, targeting the Oseokwa Port through Nnewi, Igbo-Ukwu, Ekwulobia, Oko down to Umunze, the border town to Abia and Imo, the General Manager, Anambra State Bureau of Public Procurement (ANSBPP), Mr Okey Ezeobi, told journalists last Tuesday.

According to him, the rail lines being designed to ease transportation and boost the state economy will run to Awka and another through Anambra North, heading towards the state’s boundary with Kogi.

Ezeobi, who described Soludo’s administration as futuristic, said he was thinking about the state’s economy in the next 10 to 20 years and that there was a need to jump-start it by providing the enabling environment for the economy and people to thrive.

‘And for us to have a vibrant economy with an increased GDP, transportation is one huge infrastructure that we need.

‘We are already courting the Federal Government to have ports in Onitsha and Oseokwa in the Ihiala area.

‘If you bring in containers, the fastest and cheapest way to move them out of the port is by rail.

‘These are sustainable developments that when the feasibilities are out, they are bankable projects,’ Ezeobi explained.

On the level of compliance to due process in public procurement, he said it was 100 per cent at the state level but still poor at the local government level.

He said that the agency would organise a six-day capacity-building programme for Transition Committee Chairmen in the 21 LGAs and their procurement officers.

‘Procurement is a process that must reflect transparency. It tells the people what the government is doing and affords them enough information to interrogate public officials.

‘As public officials, the local government leadership must be accountable in their handling of public funds.

‘The state procurement process must be well-defined so that residents would know that the taxes collected from them are being deployed appropriately,’ Ezeobi said.

8th Assembly Speaker Hails Soludo on Plans to Honour Former Governors, Others

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Right Honourable Somtochukwu Udeze, has lauded Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s intention to honour past Governors of Anambra and other prominent citizens who have contributed immensely towards the development of the state in different ways, describing the gesture as motivational.

Speaking at the International Conference Center Awka during the Anambra Investment Summit 2023, Right Honourable Udeze noted that Governor Soludo had once more demonstrated his genuine efforts to transform Anambra State into a prosperous and smart mega city.

He maintained that the summit would not only boost the economic profile of the state in no distant time, but create veritable opportunities for business executives to invest in oil and gas, infrastructure, trade and commerce, agriculture, power supply, health care system, among other sectors of the state.

The Speaker called on Ndi Anambra; both at home and in the diaspora, to key into the development agenda of Governor Soludo to ensure that his vision for a livable and prosperous homeland is achieved.

Right Honourable Udeze, who assured that the Anmabra State House of Assembly would provide legal framework for the development policies and programmes of the Soludo administration, commended business experts who shared their experience and ingenuity during the investment summit.

While describing the summit as a global event, the Speaker commended Governor Soludo for bringing best brains in different fields of business across the globe to Anambra, adding that the drive would greatly ensure rapid growth and development of the state.