Gov Otti, new Abia, and equity branding


By Foster Obi

In nine months, Governor Alex Otti has become a brand with a recognizable positive Brand equity. Taken by the effects, some writers have described his positive energy as ‘ethereal’, others ‘surreal,’ while a commentator simply called it ‘amazing’, and with due respect to the biblical quotation, “those that sit in darkness have seen a great light.”

In branding, equity refers to the value premium that a company generates from a product with a recognizable name when compared to a generic equivalent. Companies can create brand equity for their products by making them memorable, easily recognizable, and superior in quality and reliability.

When a company has positive brand equity, customers willingly pay a high price for its products, even though they could get the same thing from a competitor for less. Customers, in effect, pay a price premium to do business with a firm they know and admire.

The damage that the PDP did to Abia was colossal. Abia was de-marketed and reduced to ‘shithole’, (apologies to Donald Trump) in notable circles. Note, that the overall branding of a state is equivalent to the visionary size of those in charge. You could see a people that sat down for eight years in government without a vision. ” Where there is no vision the people perish,” is a biblical saying. This is why no single investor came to the state.

At the risk of digressing, let’s remember leaders of note with positivity and equity. Remember the likes of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. You want to listen to him talk always. I remember him saying, ” But for God’s sake let not the peace and stability of Nigeria be allowed to drift once more to a state of disequilibrium…” You are never tired of hearing him.

Before this writing loses track, the PDP days were dark and dreary, the atmosphere cheerless and gloomy. There was nothing to look forward to. I was ashamed to listen to the former governor speak to the press or respond to questions. It was a total disaster. Again, While those at the state house and their cronies were dancing and cashing out during every allocation, the people out there were hungry and helpless. The state was in dipshit. How could an investor come to a state where all the indices were facing downward? It reminds one of that title, “The Tragedy of a Nation.” The glory of the famed ‘God’s own State,” was desecrated on the altar of gluttony and avarice. Come to think of it, imagine a government omitting something as important as a 3.5 percent stake in a Geometric power plant in something as strategic as a handover note. It is indefensible and measures the total state of mind of the people involved.

The coming of Dr Alex Otti is divinely orchestrated. Abia state could not have survived another year of holocaust, (not to talk of four years) of PDP.

Within a short period, the gloom all over the state has given way to Joy and so much hope. While so many pensioners and salary earners died unceremoniously during PDP, due to hunger and hardship, the situation has suddenly turned around. Families are even marketing happiness beyond their environs because ” A Daniel has come to judgment.”

For the first time, we are hearing that investors are falling on top of themselves to invest in Abia state. You mean…?

For the first time, you could stay in a place like Aba, the commercial city of Abia, and switch on your electric bulb and see the light. For the first time in three decades, you could site a business that uses power in such locations and not be afraid that you will not see a power supply in three weeks or more.

A day will come when this platform will devote some space to articulate all Governor Otti has done in just nine months…. surreal?

But do you know the clincher, it is the Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP).

Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti conducted the groundbreaking ceremony on 30th September for the AIIP in the Ukwa West local government area in southeastern Nigeria.

The park will be divided into four categories: large-scale industries; medium-scale industries; small-scale industries; and a services and residential zone. The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is a strategic partner.

Among the AIIB’s core features are a technology innovation center, a vehicle assembly plant, a power plant, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) manufacturing plant, an LPG and compressed natural gas (CNG) tank farm, a haulage and warehousing facility, an agricultural storage and processing facility, a mini seaport, a five-star hotel, and a carbon-neutral residential estate.

Governor Otti said the AIIP cited among the park’s strategic advantages its proximity to Ukwa’s oil and gas deposits and the cities of Aba and Port Harcourt.

“All necessary approvals will be sought for the designation of the park as an export processing and free trade zone,” he added. “AIIP is poised to make history as the first cluster in Nigeria where LPG, CNG, jet fuel, PMS, and diesel production tank farms will be co-located with other supporting infrastructure for more efficient and commercial production of our made-in-Nigeria liquid fuel. This will help eliminate the liquid fuel scarcity problems in the country,” Otti noted.

AIIP is projected to generate revenues of N584.94 billion (US$782.6 million) once fully occupied.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Have you wondered what will happen by the time Governor Otti completes eight years in office?

Picture: Governor Alex Otti

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