Anambra And The Gain Of Continuity
John Okamsi is a long time friend who plies his trade in the Onitsha Main Market. He is not the run of the mill type of a trader even as he has spent over 20 years in the Lagos line of the Market and as such should be no less.
He had longed for a corporate environment for business and believes that Onitsha, the emporium of West Africa, deserves better. Accordingly he rented offices on New Market road as well as Awka road just to attune to the idea, but ideal business environment was far from being realized.
When few years back the idea of three Shopping Malls for Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi was mooted and work commenced on them by the Anambra state government he was flush with joy. He did the much he could to support the effort and worked hard to encourage his colleagues to patronize renting of shops at the Onitsha mall. But he had a nagging fear which he confided in me but was a bit uncomfortable discussing with his colleagues.
The government that initiated the projects had few months to vacate office and there were reservations that the malls won’t be ready before the terminal date. A palpable fear of the projects being abandoned by the new government was evident. The fear was further accentuated by the dwindling economy and the widely-held belief that successor governments almost always do not keep faith with projects initiated by their predecessors however popular the projects. Rather they prefer to initiate new ones which ownership, from conceptualization to flag-off, they have reasonable claim.
So when the Willie Obiano government promised to continue, complete, commission and commence in what was popularly called the 4 Cs, not a few persons were impressed. Very many persons dismissed it as the ranting of a self- important politician. But few months down the line the government has not only kept faith with completing the malls and assuaged the fears of my friend Okamsi and other doubters, it has carried through with other projects started by previous governments in the state. On Thursday the 14th of April, 2016, the Onitsha Shopping Mall, one of the three being carried through by the Obiano in the spirit of continuity would be commissioned.