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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Soludo Sets to Build Ten-Storey Hotel in Awka, As ACTDA Unveils 2024 Plans, Condemns Recurring Open Defecation in Capital City


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has concluded plans to build a ten-storey hotel in Awka, the capital city of the State, as parts of his administration’s strategic efforts to catalyze the economic transformation of the State.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA), Mr. Osita Onuko, revealed this in an exclusive interview with this reporter, Izunna Okafor, over the weekend on the plans of the Agency for the year 2024.

Onuko, who noted that the ten-storey hotel would be one of the signature projets of the Soludo Administration, also revealed that the construction of the hotel will commence in the first quarter of the year 2024, with its foundation laying by the Governor.

He explained that the hotel, which will be known as the Awka International Convention Hotel, is envisioned to be a centerpiece in the economic revitalization of Anambra State, reflecting Governor Soludo’s commitment to fostering growth and attracting global attention. He further stressed that the project is not just a physical structure but a strategic move to position Awka as a business, investment, and tourism hub.

According to him, the hotel will be an El dorado in Anambra, and will be complementing the Solution Fun City already being constructed in the capital territory, even as as it will be offering world-class accommodations to visitors from various corners of the globe.

“It is going to be a brand hotel. It will herald the New Awka that we are planning for. The hotel is going to be a gateway for investors and tourists, as well as a destination for them in Awka.

“It is going to do for Awka what the Transcorp Hilton did for Abuja, because the Transcorp Hilton was built in Abuja when Abuja was all bush, but it came and catalyzed the economic development of Abuja. So will this hotel also do for Awka,” Onuko said.

He added that: “As you can see, these dots are connecting. They are connecting and will keep connecting, to the point where we can say Yes, this is the Awka of our dream.”

Mr. Onuko stressed that Soludo, as a good and forward-thinking administrator, does not only plan for today, but for the generation to come, as is evidenced in his administrative styles and strides towards realizing the central vision of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland.

On the ACTDA’s 2024 plan for Awka, Onuko said the Authority was poised to embark on another ambitious journey in 2024 while also consolidating on the strides and achievements of the Agency in the past one year and two months it has been under his watch; adding that the year 2024 is very significant and holds immense importance to the administration, as it provides the window for substantial progress before the election cycle begins.

He also hinted that ACTDA would give more attention to general sanitization of the capital city this year, as well as opening up more strategic roads in the capital city, among other infrastructural facelifts.

“For us in the ACTDA, ours is to ensure that the visions and mission of Mr. Governor, especially his vital and primary vision of making Anambra a livable and prosperous homeland, starting with the Awka Capital Territory, is achieved. And primary in our plans for the year, which we have also started, is the sanitization of the capital city.

“We want to sanitize the capital city and enhance the facelift of the capital city. And one of the steps we have taken to do that is to make sure that we get the capital city rid of shanties and all forms of inordinate and uncoordinated trading,” he said.

He added that any failure to do such primary things as coordinating the environment and ensuring that things are properly done, will retard the Agency’s efforts of taking the capital city to the envisioned height. Onuko further said that every house built within the capital territory without approval will be demolished, while there will be zero tolerance for potholes, and sustained massive enforcement against shanties and the roadside trading across the length and breadth of the capital city.

He acknowledged the challenges they face in transforming Awka, saying that he and ACTDA have been subjected to public criticisms, name-calling and media trial for doing the right thing, in addition to the resistance they encounter from those reluctant to comply with simple and minute beneficial instructions. While likening that to a determined parent compelling a reluctant child to attend school, Onuko affirms their commitment to advancing the government’s initiatives in the state, undeterred by those condemning them, attempting to sabotage their efforts or decelerate the Agency’s progressive strides.

Expressing dismay over continued indiscriminate open defecation in the capital city, especially in gutters around the UNIZIK Junction despite presence of toilet facilities in the area; Onuko recounted ACTDA’s persistent efforts in cleaning the areas, and revealed the Agency’s latest decision to station some officers of the Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra (OCHA Brigade) in the area for strict enforcement against such grotty acts henceforth.

“Beyond the sanitization efforts, ACTDA is set to open up new roads and advise the Governor on strategic road development within the capital city. Building upon the success of last year’s palliative initiatives, the commitment to addressing dilapidated roads, eliminating potholes, and sustaining a green and clean campaign underscore the comprehensive approach taken by ACTDA to transform Awka into a model city,” he said.

According to him, ACTDA also envisions collaboration with relevant agencies to implement a robust agenda for overall development of the capital city, including planting of more trees and flowers, which he said, are fundamental to enhancing the aesthetic appeal and environmental status of the capital city.

“Indeed, this year promises to be a testament to our commitment to the progress and more visible transformation of the capital city; and we strongly believe that with God on our side and with the continuous support of our amiable Governor, we will turn this envisioned dreams of a vibrant, thriving, and sustainable Awka capital city into a resounding reality, leaving indelible mark on the landscape of Anambra State,” he concluded.

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