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Background

In terms of conceptualization, scale and focus – the ABIIC Project is possibly the first of its kind in Nigeria and perhaps West Africa. The only other somewhat similar Projects in Nigeria – and which were decades ago, have been of 'Industrial Estates' and not 'Cities'. They were all in Lagos and are:

1. The Ikeja Industrial Estate;
2. The Ilupeju Industrial Estate; and
3. The Apapa Industrial Estate.

At the time they were conceived, Lagos was both the administrative and commercial nerve centre/heartbeat of Nigeria. Lagos being a littoral State was also an important consideration – for the importation, export and evacuation of both goods and services.

The Abia State Government (''ABSG'') and the ABIIC 'Executive Management Team' both have a compelling desire and passion to create value for Nigeria through this Project.

The current Ariaria Market (popularly referred to as the ''Aba Market'') was originally designed for 15,000 shops or units, but currently holds over 100,000 shops/units and is in a most deplorable and very sorry state – with the commercial town of Aba in which the market is located, being only just about a kilometre from the Proposed ABIIC Project site.

The ABSG totally sold on the idea of the ABIIC Project, has perfected plans to clean up the Aba market. Due to the very apparent continued downward spiral in deterioration of conditions in Aba market, Government is looking to undertake the complete and comprehensive regeneration and rehabilitation of the market. This will in turn generate a push towards and/or demand for the ABIIC Project.

The ABSG's initial plan for the Aba market was to be a phased upgrade, refurbishment and renovation programme. Thereafter, it would turn to the ABIIC Project – with the eventual possible 'fusion' or coming together of both Initiatives.

However, this idea was quickly jettisoned after critical consideration and review of the Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of the proposed Regeneration Scheme; feasibility and viability of all available options; and perhaps more importantly/poignant in Government's thinking – the timing and the disruption it would cause to all enterprise.

Given the above and its real desire for the actualization of the ABIIC Initiative, the ABSG thought it best to commence the fast track development and implementation of the ABIIC Project.

The Abia State Government's decision was also anchored very strongly on advice, presentations, proposals and recommendations from key Stakeholders, Stakeholder Groups e.g., DR NGOZI OKONJO IWEALA 2012 Economic Forum Report at Umuahia, Office of the Special Adviser to the

President on Informal Sector, Association of Marketers and Traders in Aba (ASMATA); National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI); the Federal Ministry of Labour & Productivity, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI); and the people/host communities in the ABIIC Project Area and Aba/Ariaria market – made to Government.

The ABSG's decision to put in place a World Class Industrial Hub Project on the front burner, led to invitations for Proposals for implementation and actualization of the Initiative. Acroideation's PPP (Public Private Partnership) Proposal to Partner with the ABSG for development of the 'New International Industrial City' – was very well received.