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20th Edition of Anambra Scorecard: The Hot Questions and Cool Answers with Arc Okonkwo of ACTDA

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The 20th Edition of Anambra Scorecard on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 discussed “Transforming Awka into a Mega City: The Journey So far” with Arc Michael M. Okonkwo, the MD/CEO of ACTDA.


The ACTDA, which stands for Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, has the mandate to accelerate infrastructural development of the Awka Capital Territory (ACT); prepare a Master Plan for the Territory; implement the Awka Capital Territory Master Plan; provide infrastructural services and coordinate all building development activities of the private sector, parastatals and government agencies within the Territory.

Reproduced below is the hot questions and cool answers from the 2 hours interaction:

Question

Sir, could you give us a breakdown of the target of Awka Capital Territory and what we stand to benefit from it?

Answer

We are out to achieve our mandate which the moderator will release to you.
With ACTDA we are to benefit a more planned and orderly environment, world class city and a befitting state capital with all the necessary modern infrastructure that every onye Anambra will be proud of.

Question

We have witnessed the signing of many MoUs between the Anambra State Government and some developers on infrastructural development within the capital, don't you think it’s time we began to witness the flag off of some of these projects. A case in point is the Golf Estate and the residential estate signed with Dozzy Investments. Secondly, where is the Golf Estate going to be located within the capital?

Answer

A lot of the MoUs has been flagged, mostly in the agro sector. The one with Dozzy and the Golf Estate are recently done and there is a gestation period within which MoU papers and instruments are perfected before they move to site. Please expect these flag offs very soon.
The Golf Estate will be located in the Millennium City which actually contains the 3 arms zone.

Question

Is Orumba North part of d ACTDA? Why is the Government and the Authority not interested in the development of a town like Ufuma where you have Federal Polytechnic, Oko Campus-as per hostel development? The revenue drives by ASUDEB for building approvals and beach tolls; are they legal and from actually from the government?

Answer

Only a small portion of Orumba North, the area bordering Umuawulu in Awka South is part of capital territory. Aside the ACTDA that is mandated to develop the capital territory, the government of Anambra State has other MDAs that ensure the development of all communities in the state. In Ufuma and other parts of Orumba, we have the rice mill which is a product of one of the agricultural MoUs; a dualized road going from Amansea through Awa to Ufuma meant to link that area to the Capital Territory which is heavily under construction with 3 bridges and 28 culverts; and many other development initiatives. All the revenue drives you listed here are legal. However, the people should be careful and ensure total compliance to the directives of the government on how to make the due payments to avoid paying to the wrong hands or being duped.

Question

Apart from the road that TAMAD is currently doing within the Millennium/Greenwood City, when are the other infrastructural developments actually taking off there?

Answer

The circulation framework for the entire site entails connecting to the regional expressway and some existing roads, taking into account the initial mapping of additional circulation routes throughout the site. This circulation framework has been set up in a hierarchy of roads corresponding to major entry or ceremonial roads, internal connector roads, and neighbourhood or district streets.

Question

Is it a fact that the development of Awka Capital is a partnership venture of the state Government and some banks/financial institutions? Why is a place like Ifite Nibo still being neglected in terms of road construction or even palliative works?

Answer

The ACTDA has adopted partnership with the private sector as a viable mode of development. But these are mostly in areas of estate development and certain infrastructure such as "captive power" and some water projects from donor agencies. However, the development of and palliative measures for roads are still the government's responsibility. Thus, ACTDA has a palliative initiative plan in synergy with the Ministry of Works. This plan includes the Ifite Nibo roads.

Question

Are there any plans to relocate Eke Awka market or at least put a fence in some portions of it in view of the traffic gridlock caused by the traders?

Answer

This idea has been an ongoing discussion, even in the Awka Structural Plan by UN Habitat. It will be desirable and it is being reviewed in the ongoing ACT master plan project. In the interim, ACTDA has an urban renewal program for the Eke Awka stretch that will remove projections and alleviate traffic in the area.

Question

Sir, no serious individual development is going in the Millennium City in Awka except the three Arms Zone; besides, the road that leads to the Millennium City has been untouched long ago… What effort is your organisation making to revamp the old Awka with it modern infrastructure? The gutters along Zik’s Avenue are polluting the environment so heavily. The repositioning of Eke Awka to a more conducive arena; the Civil Servant Housing Estate, Police Scheme and many more at Isiagu; what have you people done on these areas/challenges?

Answer

ACTDA has revised the precinct plan of the Millennium City as will be posted by the moderator. ACTDA is currently in negotiations with private sector partners for the development. As for the clogged gutters in the Eke Awka area and indeed the rest of the Capital Territory, the ACTDA in synergy with ASWAMA are constantly de-silting the gutters and are sensitizing the general public with regards the need to keep debris away from the gutters.

Question

Sir, I will thank the government for this welcome development. Please is their plan to build more dual carriage ways in the new Awka apart from Zik’s Avenue? Also, what of relocating some government offices to other local government areas for easy transportation? Can there be an estate in Njikoka and other LGAs?

Answer

There are currently over 39 estates scattered within the Awka Capital Territory, including Njikoka LGA where Obinwanne Estate was recently flagged off.

Question

Please state the towns and communities that make up awka capital territory. What is the difference between ACTDA and ASUDEB? Is there a master plan for the capital territory yet?

Answer

The list of the towns in ACT will be posted by the moderator. ACTDA is an authority charged with the physical planning and control of development within the Awka Capital Territory, while Anambra Physical Planning Board (ASPPB) that replaced ASUDEB is charged with overseeing the planning activities and development control in the rest of Anambra State (with the exception of the ACT). The master plan for the Awka Capital Territory is currently in progress

Question

Awka is fast developing into a mega city, what is the magic behind it?

Answer

The magic behind the successful development of any mega city of which the ACT is work in progress lies in the proper mix of three major things - the political will which our dear governor, Chief Willie Obiano has in abundance; assemblage of the right expertise which is apparent in the make-up of ACTDA Board and adequate funding which is being made possible mostly through partnership with the private sector.

Question

Don't you think that for Awka to be developed into a mega city, your department will take some hard decisions towards dualizing more township roads and we all know that that will involve demolishing of some buildings? How do you intend to handle this?

Answer

ACTDA is aware of the hard decisions needed to achieve proper urban renewal initiative and that there will be need for compensations where those hard decisions are to be made.

Question

Apart from the development control manual which your department is now selling, is it possible to buy a copy of the actual Awka Capital master plan with all the proposals for land use from your department?

Answer

Once the master plan for the ACT has been completed, it will be unveiled and made available for use by the public.

Question

There was a time we heard that the government wanted to develop some housing estates within the executive business district (behind the abandoned government house next to the state secretariat), but am surprised that after many months, nothing has been said about the proposal again. Is it still on course?

Answer

The development of the proposed housing estate in the executive business district is still on course. The development model, however, is designed to rival the status quo and be more on par with the likes of Nikon Town in Lagos with proper infrastructure provisions before the plots will be offered for developments.

Question

What does the state government want to do with the abandoned government house next to the secretariat? Do we just watch all those land to waste?

Answer

The abandoned government house is slated be remodelled into an "anchor" mixed use development that will support the proposed housing estate around it.

Question

Rapid urbanization comes with attendant increase in cost of living - especially transportation and housing. Has government considered putting in place a security system to ensure that these costs don't soar beyond the reach of citizens? Are low cost estates being considered and are property developers encouraged to acquire and develop private estates which can be transferred to middle income earners at moderate costs? The Lagos Tenement Law is a case study here as it prohibits the collection of rent in excess of one year within the state.
Have we in place a viable system of public transportation which shall subsidize the cost of mobility which is a factor that comes alongside urbanization?

Answer

There are ranges of housing developments geared towards the commendation of the different levels of income earners within the ACT. Alongside development of the city are revisions to and introductions of laws commensurate with level of development that will be observed within the ACT. As for public transportation, there are the “Willie is Working” red buses with subsidized fares.

Question

I want to build a skills acquisition centre and a mini herbal processing plant in Awka or it’s environ, how do I go about it in terms of land procurement and necessary logistics?

Answer

All proposed investment projects in the state are to be processed through ANSIPPA, the one-stop-shop for investment activities in the state.

Question

Please sir, the Nise-Agulu axis contains vacant land, what plan do you have about that place?

Answer

The land use for the parcels in the Nise-Agulu axis will be addressed in the ongoing master plan for the ACT.

Question

Our roads are very narrow and windy. What plans do you have to change this? Also why do we will still leave our gutters open and no pavements for pedestrians? Is any plan to change this? Lastly, in the capital territory, our children as well as some of the residents will be going to school or moving around with bicycle but our roads and streets does not have bicycle tracts or ways. Will the recent road and street constructions include this important set of road users in the planning and constructions?

Answer

The narrowness of the roads in the old city portion of the Awka Capital Territory pose challenges and may, in fact, not be feasible to widen beyond the removal of projections. But the master plan will set fort standards that will provide for modern roads of proper widths for vehicular, cycle and pedestrian traffic. These new roads will be treated with covered drainage and all applicable road furniture.

Question

From all these, I am very happy, but I would like to ask if proper maintenance of all these facilities and investments are going to be in place throughout its existence. Also, the last time I was in Onitsha, I found out that so many places were untidy, what is the government doing about constant sweeping of the roads and clearing of gutters in Anambra?

Answer

ACTDA in particular and the Anambra State Government of present in general are mindful of the low maintenance culture prevalent in our nation as a whole. Thus, to protect the infrastructure investment of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, for instance, commissioned the road sweepers brigade and the road maintenance squad. And the presence of these initiatives which created over 500 jobs for the youth and women of Anambra state can be seen throughout the state.

Anambra Scorecard is the only online live programme which provides opportunity for the led to directly engage their leaders through the Facebook platform from anywhere in the world.

It is a weekly programme anchored on Anambra Square, the e-Village Square of Ndi Anambra on Facebook with Ifeanyi Aniagoh as the host.
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