Infrastructural development remains the driver of economic growth. Its deficit no doubt has hampered Africa’s development and Nigeria is no exception. Hence this challenge has stimulated greater interest in urban renewal and mega cities development to curb urban sprawls. The Rivers State Government is not far from achieving this task.
These were some salient issues discussed in this year’s Exposition of Nigerian Institute of Architects (Archbuilt 2010). The Conference had ended in Abuja , but its memory resonates due to the centrality of mega city development in emerging economies. This will repositioned Nigeria on the fast pedestal of economic growth.
Greater Port Harcourt Mega City was among notable projects with vibrant investment opportunities exhibited at the conference. Others are the Lagos Eko Atlantic and Abuja Millennium Tower etc .
This was a gathering of Key operators in policy formulation, designs and construction, Renewable Energy, Infrastructure, City Development and Management Solutions. Others were Waste Management, Project Finance, Computing, software, Security System and Waste Management Technology.
The President, Nigerian Institute of Architects, Olatunji Bola, said the priority of the group, despite promoting Architectural practice, is to attain excellence in the creative management in Nigeria ’s physical environment as well as mobilizing informed members towards the delivery of quality services in Nigeria .
Greater Port Harcourt mega city is a priority project of the Rivers State Government to build a world class city internationally recognized for excellence and the preferred destination for investors. The essence of the initiative is to provide first rate infrastructure to enhance the standard of living of the people.
Dr. Silva Opusunju who represented the Greater Port Harcourt Administrator, Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam, gave a lecture titled Development of Mega Cities in Emerging Economies”, said that the Greater Port Harcourt Mega City project will further broaden the social and economic base of the State, which in turn would enhance the fortunes of both residents and investor.
The Rivers State Government has put in place legislative and regulatory framework to enhance security of investment, transparency and accountability by virtue of the Public Procurement Law of 2008, the Private Public Partnership in Infrastructure Law and the Fiscal Responsibility Law of 2010.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s firm commitment in rebuilding Port Harcourt to its Garden City status is yielding positive results. The security of lives and property is strengthened, compared to what it used to be in the past. Already 350 primary schools and150 health centres are being built across the 23 Local Government Areas of the State. Government has also embark on various projects like roads, power etc.
The New City project of the Rivers State Government is anchored on the Port Harcourt Old City ; Onne Harbour and the Port Harcourt International Airport . The city with well laid out residential, commercial and industrial areas, parks, gardens etc, is planned to be a modern comprehensively serviced urban area with uninterrupted power supply, network of reticulated water supply, bulk sewage system, and network of good roads, streets and public transportation system. Others are storm water management, waste management and disposal system.
Rivers State Government is willing to partner with investors and the private sector in achieving this dream. Investment opportunities abound in Power generation and transmission, solid waste management, water supply and reticulation, housing projects, office complexes, golf courses and urban transport system.
Port Harcourt, the Treasure Base of the Nation is the home for Multinational oil giants and the fastest growing city in the South-South. More than 70% of FDI is located therein; hence the need for a Mega City project to expand its business nodes and frontiers become necessary.
In this regard, Greater Port Harcourt Administrator, Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam and her team have intensified efforts toward investor drive within and outside the shores of Nigeria in selling the exciting opportunities in the oil city. The most recent outing was at the all African Planning Conference in Durban , South Africa . The MIPIM conference France in March 2010 also recorded a huge success.
As Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority (GPHCDA) shifts from planning to implementation of this New Mega City, Tenders have since been advertised both national and international to facilitate the construction of some key infrastructural services like the wastewater Treatment Works, MI0 Freeway, Internal Township Services, Priority Roads and Water Supply to drive the New City.
Prince Nwaokugha Ikeokwu
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