Readers of Naira Insider know of the shake, grin, grab methods used by governors to generate cash.
Governor Obiano of Anambra has announced something that might arouse suspicions in an election year no less. We pray that there is nothing untoward.
He announced a $2bn investment in an airport and industrial complex in Anambra.
This is being done in a joint venture between the state, an oil company and a Chinese company.
These factors alone should raise eyebrows.
Firstly, $2bn in Anambra at this stage of its economic development – it seems unlikely that that sum will ever be invested.
Experience shows many of our state airports with grandiose plans are little more than a dilapidated airstrip and a shed for waiting passengers.
Anambra is in need of an airport (flying to Asaba and then driving to Awka is hardly optimal) but at what cost?
Secondly, the partners.
Chinese funding sources are flowing like water at the minute as the Chinese government ensures everyone is endeared to them.
One has to assume that the Chinese investors are sourcing Chinese funds.
If the funding even comes close to $1bn, that is a lot of full trouser pockets with even some spare to build an airstrip and a few buildings.
Thirdly, the tried and tested joint venture model.
The money can be shared around with some degree of impunity.
Let’s hope this is a bona fide project but the optics are not good currently.
Let’s see what is there on the ground in 3 years.
What undoubtedly will be there in 3 years is the indebtedness of the fine citizens of Anambra to the Chinese to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.