There has been an ongoing debate if the proposed 10 storey international hotel in Awka is a priority.
Most people don’t understand what it takes to build a modern international city, especially if you hope to attract international investors. First, you need an airport or seaport to take investors there.
Second, you need hotels of international standard where they can stay or even live. There would have been no Abuja without the Hilton hotel. Egypt is building a new Cairo but first a 500-room Marriott hotel. The rapid transformation of Dubai started with good airports and great international hotels.
Check out Singapore or even Rwanda. When the government of Rwanda started building international hotels, some myopic people who didn’t know much described it as “not priority” but today the world travels to Rwanda for business and tourism thereby creating wealth.
International investors or tourists cannot go to a location without international facilities. Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr M. I. Okpara understood that the Eastern region could not be built without the Hotel Presidential in Enugu, PortHarcourt and Calabar. Even their compatriots in other parts of the country followed suit – Obafemi Awolowo built the Premier Hotel in Ibadan and Ahmadu Bello built Hamdala Hotel, Kaduna.
Jim Nwobodo had to build Ikenga hotels in Enugu, Nsukka, Awka, Abakiliki in early 1980’s.
When Sam Mbakwe started the Imo airport about 43 years ago as well as the Concorde hotel, Owerri, most people who could not see far shouted “not a priority”! Years later everyone thanks Mbakwe for laying foundation for the new Imo state as these two infrastructure drove the traffic to Owerri. A new Anambra of our dreams is not possible without international hotels.
Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo CFR is determined to lay the foundation for Anambra to become a truly international state. He is restoring security, law and order; rebuilding our transport infrastructure (over 450 km of roads under construction) including developing a rail master plan, dualization of major roads, zero potholes; unprecedented empowerment of thousands of youths; free education and free health care for pregnant women; employment of over 10,000 youths in less than two years (teachers, medical professionals and security officers); building new industrial city, regeneration of our cities; building Awka Fun City; revamping of public water schemes; etc.
Now Soludo is changing gears — to begin a journey to making Anambra a true international city by designing a new Awka (Awka 2.0) and a new Onitsha (Onitsha 2.0) — to attract international capital to the state. Currently, some serious investors refuse to come/sleep in Anambra due to absence of an international hotel.
Governor Soludo is determined to change all that. Soludo is following the international template for leapfrogging the transformation of Anambra State. The road to African-Dubai Taiwan is beginning and Awka will soon have all the features of an international city. Anambra will soon be able to host the world.
Solution is indeed here.