Why Anambra needs a world class hotel in Awka

By Christian ABURIME

Anambra State Government’s strategic plan to build a 10-storey international hotel in Awka has sparked controversy in different quarters.

While some dismiss it as an unnecessary project of less priority, others understandably recognise it as a strategic investment in the state’s future.

This contributory intervention is nuanced in the proposition that building a world-class hotel in Awka is not just about luxury accommodation; it is about laying the foundation for a thriving international business hub to attract the much-needed investors and development as it is done in other parts of the world.

As a global imperative, stately hotels are stepping stones to progress in modern society. Transforming a city into an international centre of commerce and tourism requires more than just ambition. It demands a strategic approach that prioritises infrastructure and amenities that cater to a global audience and that is precisely what Governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, is doing.

Governor Soludo’s vision for Awka recognises the crucial role of hospitality in attracting international investors. Think of Dubai, a desert metropolis that rose from obscurity to become a gleaming beacon of trade and tourism. Its journey began not with oil, but with a conscious effort to create a world-class destination.

Its luxurious hotels were not mere embellishments; they were magnets that drew in business leaders, investors, and tourists, setting the stage for the city’s phenomenal growth that has become the envy of not only the United Arab Emirates but the whole of Middle East and the global community. And this is the same story in Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo and other thriving cities of the world where mega towering hotels litter their environments as massive crowd-pullers.

Closer home in Africa, Rwanda’s economic resurgence is another demonstration of the power of hospitality infrastructure. Despite facing immense challenges, the Rwandan government prioritised the development of international hotels, recognising their potential to attract investment and rebuild the nation’s image.

Today, Rwanda is a thriving tourist destination and a magnet for foreign direct investment, a success story fueled in part by its commitment to providing world-class hospitality. And would Abuja, our own national capital city, and Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, have become irresistible magnets for all-comers today without their superlative world-class hotels?

Beyond being a facility for lodging, the ripple effects of a world-class hotel go a long way. Yes, the benefits of an international hotel in Awka will extend far beyond providing comfortable accommodation for guests. It will serve as a catalyst for broader economic development, triggering a ripple effect that benefits the entire state.

The benefits include the following: Job Creation: Construction, management, and operation of the hotel will create hundreds of new jobs, directly injecting income into Anambra’s local economy.

Enhanced Business Environment: The presence of a world-class hotel will signal to potential investors that Anambra is serious about attracting international business. This improved perception can lead to increased investment in various sectors, from manufacturing to technology.

Tourism Boost: A luxurious hotel will cater to high-end tourists, opening doors for Anambra to tap into the lucrative tourism market. This influx of visitors will not only generate revenue but also showcase the state’s cultural heritage and natural beauty to the world.

Infrastructure Development: The construction of the hotel will likely necessitate upgrades to surrounding infrastructure, such as roads, transportation, and utilities which Governor Soludo is currently putting in place. These improvements will benefit not just the hotel but the entire city of Awka.

Aside the foregoing attendant benefits, Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo is determined to lay the foundation for Anambra to become a truly competitive state. Everything fits into his grand vision of transforming the state into a livable, prosperous modern city-state.

That is why his government is restoring security, law and order; rebuilding our transport infrastructure (over 450 kilometres of roads under construction) including developing a rail master plan, dualisation of major roads, zero potholes; facilitating unprecedented empowerment of thousands of youths; guaranteeing free education and free health care for pregnant women; securing employment of over 10,000 citizens in less than two years (teachers, medical professionals and security officers); building a new industrial city and regenerating old cities; building Awka Fun City; revamping of public water schemes; and so on.

Now, Governor Soludo is changing gears in transformative governance, to begin a journey towards making Anambra a modern city-state by designing a new Awka (Awka 2.0 industrial city) and a new Onitsha (Onitsha 2.0 commercial city) which will attract international capital, investment and development to the state.

Currently, some serious investors are reluctant to come to or stay in Anambra State due to the absence of a world-class hotel to make them feel comfortable as they are used to in developed countries. The vision for Awka 2.0 as a new ultra-modern industrial city is not merely about aesthetics; it is about building a future-oriented city that can compete on the global stage.

An international luxurious hotel is a crucial piece of this puzzle, symbolising Anambra’s commitment to progress and setting the stage for a new era of prosperity. While some may view the hotel as an extravagant expense of less priority, it is important to remember that true progress often requires bold investments. The potential rewards of attracting international investment, creating jobs, and boosting tourism far outweigh the initial costs.

Anambra has the potential to be a thriving economic hub in the mould of an African Dubai-Taiwan paradigm, and a world-class hotel in Awka can be the catalyst that unlocks its true potential.

In conclusion, the hysteria surrounding the proposed Awka international hotel should not just be about bricks and mortar; it should be about Anambra’s vision for its future. By embracing this strategic investment, Anambra State can position itself as a leading player in Nigeria, Africa and the global marketplace, creating a brighter future for generations to come.

The choice is clear: Anambra State can choose to remain a glorified town-state, or it can seize the opportunity to build a world-class capital city that attracts investment, fosters innovation, and thrives on the international stage.