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ABIRIBA TOWN AS A NEW BUSINESS DESTINATION: THE PROSPECTS, CAPACITY AND REALITY

By Nwaka Inem on November, 3 2017

Views: 2226

NTUM-OHA BUSINESS SUMMIT, PAPER PRESENTED BY CHIEF NWAKA O. INEM(ENYI-OHA)

 ABIRIBA TOWN AS A NEW BUSINESS DESTINATION: 

THE PROSPECTS, CAPACITY AND REALITY

Part 2

 

 

EXISTING BUSINESSES


Looking at what is on ground, perhaps will help us to determine and appraise the need to consolidate, expand and encourage new ones. Provisions and the beverages market is viable but can be improved with increased patronage. Pure water (sachet and bottle) can be expanded with establishment of a modern plant. We know of Abiriba sons in this business doing well in Lagos and Aba. They should be encouraged to open a plant in Abiriba.


The building and construction industry is a growing sector, given the crave for palatial country homes even around neighbouring communities. Since the opening of Ogbu Cement Depot and other allied shops in Abiriba, basic building materials demand including rods are less of a challenge presently.

The farmers in Abiriba, though mainly subsistent,have not been found wanting.  Hope is very high with Ogbutraco and Nemaco Farms. When fully operational, apart from the employment prospects, they will create a substantial market for farm and allied products which will be established.


The Noko Plaza and Hotels provided Events Place and Accommodation, but due to management challenge, that role has been poorly handled recently.  However, the coming on board of Bourdex Event Centre, with the expected 3-Star Hotel when completed, will stand in the gap for the entertainment and hospitality market. Efforts by the ACIU to promote a regional modern market has not come to reality. We are aware that a location has been identified and a design developed awaiting implementation. I understand that some avoidable hurdles are yet to be overcome as regards to the land proposed. It is hoped that all stakeholders could resolve all the issues and allow the market take off for the good of all of us.


WAY FORWARD


One cannot argue the fact that all the infrastructures built by various Age Grades and taken over by the Government, has been badly managed, thereby defeating the purpose of the self-help efforts of our people.  Will it be a bad idea if we seek to retrieve and manage them better for our people's benefit and growth of a new business destination. But then, we must first ask ourselves the pertinent question. Thus, is ACIU as presently packaged, or our traditional institutions viz-a-viz Enachioken-in-Council, Age Grades, Inyimoka and Umon structured and equipped to manage modern development, social, economic and security issues that goes with a new and emerging business destination. The answer is an emphatic no. That explains why progressive minded Abiriba sons, pioneered by His Excellency Cdre(rtdOkoh Ebitu Ukiwe, GCON, has been clamouring for some sort of city management authority, by trying to fashion out an indigenous administration. Together with other patriots, a working document tagged Vision 2030 has been developed. Let me use this opportunity to share a little of the concept which the Leadership of ACIU is currently studying with a view of developing a White Paper towards implementation. The document recognised ACIU as the major mobilizing development union of the people with the leadership not necessarily residing in Abiriba. The concept is seeking to establish a city manager that will be resident in Abiriba to see to the day-to-day management of all the facilities and infrastructures in Abiriba including roads, security, drainages and environmental sanitation. The document delineated the entire Abiriba along residential layouts, not on village basis. If properly articulated and accepted for implementation, we can make a bold attempt on self-determination and then seek to retrieve all assets taken over by Government for better management and development of the place, even as a new and emerging market destination. It can be a basis for local government autonomy for Abiriba And I am sure Abiriba people will be more willing and cooperative to pay for some of the levies that havepitted most residents with officials of the OhafiaLGA.


On a final note, let me stress here, the importance of peace and unity in development.  Abiriba is where we are, ahead of neighbouring communities because of the unique peaceful traditional coexistence.  No efforts should be spared in maintaining that unity.  Let us shun every temptation to distort the peace and unity, no matter how provoked or aggrieved we may be. Every disagreement resulting most times from misinterpretation of history and our tradition should be sincerely negotiated with the sole aim to preserve our unity, for there lies our strength in development and progress.  Let us patiently encourage the current peace efforts led by His Excellency Cdre(rtdOkoh Ebitu Ukiwe, GCON, on the current traditional crisis confronting our traditional institutions.


The recent agitation for state statute autonomy for NDE Eze anyi, as against our long existing traditional autonomy/united Abiriba, will not augur well for a continuous united Abiriba development approach.  Therefore, I plead with the proponents to have a rethink.  Nku di MBA, de eghere MBA ndi. Barb me like Nwankwo, but note that the style might not fit you like Nwankwo. I saw online recently a group picture of Abiriba greats taken around 1952/53. Faces of icons like Jombo NwaogburuOkoro IjaghaNwokeocha ChekwasNkungwuDike UkukuNdukwo Nta, Orji Boko, Ikwan Okpogho OkpoghoAnyanso Za etal, all in splendid suites that can still trend in today's contemporary fashion. I got inspired that they do not have the education and exposure we now have, yet you cannot take away the credit of laying the foundation of united Abiriba development efforts devoid of AmekeAgboji and Amogudu divide as we are currently being embarrassed.

It will be inappropriate for me to end this presentation without commending the patriotic efforts of the organizers NTUM OHA. I thank you so much for the opportunity to share my humble thoughts with this great and noble audience. Your activities, programs and contributions to the transformation of our people and her development cannot be ignored.  I urge all of us to give the desired support morally, spiritually and financially to the group in their onerous and wonderful works. In the same manner, all other groups like the League of Abiriba Professionals (LeAP), who will be organizing an economic empowerment seminar in a couple of days, should also be supported.  As we do that, we will be ensuring that the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain.

To avoid boring you with what most of you know, simply put, we as a people can make Abiriba a new and emerging business destination in Abia North. The Government and the people will appreciate the development. God bless you all.