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Soludo: Onitsha becoming dead town — businesses evacuating to other states

Soludo: Onitsha becoming dead town — businesses evacuating to other states
May 05
19:06 2022

Charles Soludo, governor of Anambra, has lamented the “high rate” of evacuation of businesses from Onitsha to neighbouring states.

Onitsha town is the economic hub of Anambra.

According to NAN, Soludo expressed his displeasure at a strategic meeting with landlords in Onitsha, on Thursday.

The governor explained that the meeting was in line with the mantra of “be your brother’s keeper”, saying it had become necessary to dialogue on how best to reclaim Onitsha, starting from the contributions of the landlords.

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Describing Onitsha city as “dead”, he said everyone has a critical role to play to turn the city around for good.

“Recall that Onitsha was once known to house the largest market in West Africa, which is sadly no longer the case, as new businesses and investments are now tilting towards neighbouring states,” Soludo said.

“A verifiable estimate shows that 35 to 40 percent of businesses and productive assets in Onitsha are evacuating to neighbouring states.

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“This is the reality of the situation and my administration is committed to turning around Onitsha into a smart megacity, as Onitsha has advanced into a metropolis.

“Hence, this civic engagement. I need your support to drive home the initiatives and policy thrusts of this administration.”

Soludo also said the landlords would benefit from the engagement because the value of their assets would increase eventually.

Soludo’s comment comes amid concerns over the suspension of business activities in south-east states on Mondays.

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Economic activities in south-east states such as Anambra are sometimes suspended on Mondays over violence linked to gunmen alleged to be enforcing a sit-at-home order.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had, in 2021, announced the sit-at-home order in the south-east in solidarity with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

However, while IPOB had later suspended the directive, many residents still observe the directive over fear of attacks.

Meanwhile, IPOB has repeatedly denied the involvement of its members in the violence recorded in the south-east region in recent months.

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