By Ifeoma Ofurum
The Deputy Speaker, Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Donatus Odoemena, has unveiled a site, measuring more than 28 hectares, for an ultra-modern market and a housing estate in Mgbidi, Oru Local Government Area of Imo State.
Speaking at the ceremony, Hon Odoemena charged Igbos doing business in faraway lands, especially in the trouble areas of the north, to return home and avail themselves of the opportunities and invest in the project.
He said that the project has the blessings of Gov. Rochas Okorocha whom he described as development friendly, adding that owners of the land have been adequately compensated.
Hon Odoemena, who represents Oru Local Government Area in the House, said that their fathers got the vision and gave out the land since 1976.
He disclosed that the market would be named Heartland Gateway International Market while the housing estate would be Mgbidi Housing Estate.
Also speaking, a renowned estate surveyor and valuer, Chief M. I. Okoro, said that the idea originated from the platform of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some Imo town unions at home and in the Diaspora who felt it was time to develop Igboland and bring home “our tycoon brothers” scattered in other places.
Chief Okoro, who is the marketer of the project, said that application forms are available to prospective shop owners at the cost of N10,000 payable in designated banks.
The project, according to him, will contain 10,000 high profile expanded lockup shops, 3000 housing units, banking halls, and office spaces, warehouses, parking lots, clinics and pharmacy, fire and police stations, school, water scheme and power substation, as well as close circuit television and other security arrangements.
Pastor Nat Omenyi, the CEO of Graceland Channels, a firm working in conjunction with the Imo State Government, said that the project would be taken in two phases within two years and would create 20,000 jobs.
Present at the occasion were officials of Fidelity Bank, Keystone Bank and First Bank.