Regenerating Upper Iweka Area: The Soludo’s Grand Ambition

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Written by:
Jude Emecheta, PhD, FrPa.
Ozubulu, Anambra State.

Prof. Soludo’s ambitious vision to regenerate the Upper Iweka Area in Onitsha has sparked widespread discussion and debate, particularly within the Greater Onitsha area. This place is home to over 50 parks, markets, shops, street vendors, and unauthorized structures. While Soludo administration has made significant progress in urban renewal for Onitsha, it is clear that further action is needed to transform this metropolitan city, which was previously neglected and in chaos.

Reflecting on the ongoing discussion, one can only imagine the big plans Prof. Soludo may have for the area. Knowing him as someone who excels in delivering ambitious projects within challenging timeframes, one can speculate on the ambitious initiatives he may have in mind for the future of Upper Iweka.

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Prof. Soludo’s transformative vision for Upper Iweka began with the eradication of the presence of touts in Onitsha. This was swiftly followed by the enactment of the Anti-touting Bill, effectively outlawing the illegal activities that were predominantly concentrated in the Upper Iweka Area and other parts of Onitsha. In addition to these crucial steps, Prof. Soludo has undertaken extensive road construction and prioritized sanitation, traffic management, and the clearing of waterways.

However, Prof. Soludo’s ambition doesn’t stop there. With the establishment of the Anambra State Urban Regeneration Council(AURIC), which is vested with the responsibility of State Urban Renewal, it becomes clear that Prof. Soludo envisions a transformation beyond these basic improvements. One can easily envision, in line with Prof. Soludo’s dynamic vision, the transformation of the Upper Iweka area into a modern urban space reminiscent of the bustling streets of Dubai Business District.

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But Prof. Soludo has a job to do. To achieve his grand ambition, he will have to relocate Relief market and all other markets to a place far away from the Upper Iweka axis, he will have to build multi-level parking structures located at strategic sites near major markets and busy shopping streets in Onitsha, design and develop world standard central bus terminals in new areas that are easily accessible by ndi Anambra — that are easily connectable to other modes of transportation in nearby areas of Onitsha. To cap it all, he must generate a master plan for the New Upper Iweka – Central Business District.

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