TWO prominent sons of Anambra State have decried the ‘progressive decay’ in infrastructure in Onitsha, the commercial city of the state, and offered ways of how to get the city more successful.
Former Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka, and former presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party, Professor Kingsley Muoghalu, Wednesday in Onitsha called for a holistic overhaul of the physical infrastructure in city.
At the inauguration of the 13th President of the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Chidoka, speaking on the topic, “How to make Onitsha a successful city,” bemoaned the absence of treatment plant for both liquid and solid waste in the town and the absence of a clearcut demarcation between the residential buildings and the multiple markets in the town.
He called for the creation of a functional transport system, restoration of the Onitsha water scheme, setting up of new targets for sanitation as well as investment in health and education.
According to Chidoka: “The markets have grown haphazardly. If we had followed the plan by United Nations Habitat, Onitsha would not have become what it is today.
“Our greatest export to the world should be knowledge. Onitsha needs internet access with the creation of top domain name.
“For all these to work, we need three concepts of knowledge, enterprise and values.”
Muoghalu, while urging the chamber to engage the federal and state governments on tackling the huge infrastructure deficit in the city, harped on the need for the development of the Onitsha Inland Water Port and implementation of the Onitsha master plan.
He said: “There is need to reduce environmental degredation and revisit business model of Onitsha as a manufacturing hub.”
The National President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya-Aliu, consoled the victims of the recent Onitsha fire and urged the chamber to consider ways to tackle the menace of miscreants at Onitsha bridgehead.
Represented by the Chairman, South East Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr John Udeagbala, the national president further urged the chamber to tackle the problem of multiple taxes, levies and insecurity.
The inaugurated 13th President of the Chamber, Mr Chris Ukachukwu pledged to improve on the achievements of his predecessors as he promised to rejuvenate the city’s business environment and strenghten collaboration with government and its institutions.
He said that efforts would be made to buy fire fighting equipment and introduce an insurance scheme for traders to mitigate their losses during disasters.