Invest in Ogbunike cave and rake in N40bn annually - Group tells Soludo

Invest in Ogbunike cave and rake in N40bn annually – Group tells Soludo

A group, Team Make Ogbunike Great (TMOG) has called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State to invest hugely in the Ogbunike cave in Oyi Local Government Area of the state to increase internal generated revenue of his government.

The group said the cave has the potential of adding N40billion annually to the economy of the state if her tourism possibilities were well harnessed. 

Speaking at a media parley on Thursday, the group’s Coordinator, Dr. Harris Chuma regretted that previous governments’ approach to harnessing the potentials of Ogbunike was more theoretical than practical.

He described Ogbunike as a billion dollar economic hub, with gigantic but under-utilized tourism, stressing that government’s inability to tap into the town’s potential smacked of shortsightedness on its part.

He urged Soludo to put action to words in the project so as to leave an enduring legacy to his name.

He said, “We are here to reiterate our desire to see a greater Ogbunike Town, a greater Oyi LGA and the greatest Anambra state, especially as our dear Anambra State, gets set to mark her 32nd anniversary as a state in the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the 27th of August.  

“We wish to remind the stakeholders of this great state, especially our policy formulators, that there is need to effectively tap into the billion dollar Ogbunike economic hub, embodied in her gigantic but under-utilized tourism.

“This has become very imperative, considering the dire need for diversification of the economy of our state to avail more income streams for the several developmental needs of our people. 

“Like I have always said in the past, there is no other place to look forward to in Anambra than Ogbunike, when it comes to how cultural tourism can transform a society. 

“It is no longer news that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO has acknowledged this fact by recognizing the Ogbunike Cave as a World Heritage Centre. 

“This badge of honour is yet to be fully exploited by successive governments of the state, and has been lying fallow, not minding the enormous advantages therein.

“Several journals, local and international, have described the Ogbunike Cave as one of the most alluring wonders in the universe; so not tapping into this, smacks of shortsightedness on the part of our stakeholders, because lesser endowed sites have done far greater things for other societies in other countries.

“It is pertinent to note that the location of our town Ogbunike is quite strategic. With close proximities to Onitsha, Asaba Airport as well as the Anambra International Cargo Airport, it is a proof that this will be a gold mine when harnessed properly.

“Apart from the Cave as a structural beauty, Ogbunike Town is blessed with numerous cultural festivals like Nwafor, New Yam Festival, etc, which span across seasons and months of the year, and could be synchronized to align with activities that will attract local and foreign tourists to the town.

“Of course, these will hardly be attainable if the right resources are not expended on infrastructure, which is why we are calling on the Anambra State government, to incorporate our dear town in her master plan by providing the enabling environment for investments in the area of tourism. 

“An independent survey carried out by TMOG has revealed that Ogbunike Town has the potential to add N40bn annually to the economy of Anambra state, if her tourism possibilities are well harnessed. 

“These will come from inflows from tourists, patronage of hospitality resorts and taxes from workers in the hospitality sector of the town.

“While successive governments have only talked about harnessing the potentials of Ogbunike in paper, I will urge the Prof Chukwuma Soludo-led administration to put action to words in this regard, and leave this legacy to his name.”

A stakeholder in the community, Engr. Anthony Aniebue expressed fisappointment over several years of neglect of successive governments to the town amidst its enormous potentials.

He said, “Any government interested in increasing the IGR of the state and doesn’t factor in the Ogbunike cave and other revenues surrounding the facility, including the market, parks and other businesses, is not serious.

“Ogbunike holds a very powerful resource base for the state. If government builds a 5-star hotel around the cave just as it did by Agulu lake, people will come from all areas of the world to explore the cave.

“Outside Onitsha and Nkpor, many money spinning businesses are located in Ogbunike. The place we had the toll gate was in Ogbunike, a serious economic hub. The mechanic village, the three in one industrial estate is there as well.

“The entire area is struggling with high economic population density. The first ever tarred road outside Enugu-Onitsha expressway passed through Ogbunike. 

“The 7th mile Nkwele Ezunaka road linking Nkwele poultry farm built by old eastern regional government passed through Ogbunike. Unfortunately, that road with is no longer there.”

Kindly Leave a Comment