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Anambra Airport City / Cargo Airport, Anambra, Nigeria

After farmland was cleared for Anambra Airport City/Cargo Airport concerns that the project might be unviable proved well-founded as the project has not been completed. Neighbouring communities complain of extension of the project site and land grabbing


On 11th April 2017 Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, launched the Umueri Cargo Airport project, saying the development, costing more than USD 2 billion, would be an ‘Airport City’, a new airport with two runways, aviation fuel and aircraft maintenance facilities, airport hotel, business park and international convention centre [1]. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Anambra Airport City / Cargo Airport, Anambra, Nigeria
State or province:Anambra
Location of conflict:Umueri
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In March 2015 Anambra State Government approved expenditure of USD25.3 million for a new four-lane approach road to the site of the planned Umueri Cargo Airport. Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano launched the airport project, estimated to cost more than USD 2 billion, on 11th April 2017, saying the facility would feature two runways, aviation fuel and aircraft maintenance facilities, airport hotel, business park and international convention centre.[1] At a meeting during which the MoU was signed with Chinese investors Governor Obiano stated that the Umueri Airport City project “sits on 1,500 hectares of land with enough elbowroom for expansion from Ivite Umueri to neighbouring communities such as Nando, Umunya, Otuocha, Aguleri, Nteje, Nsugbe and beyond”.[4] He explained that the ‘Airport City Project’ followed the same trajectory as investment in roads and bridges leading to industrial clusters, oilfields and the agricultural belt. It would ‘open a new economic corridor for our beloved state as it is expected to stimulate growth in the oil and gas sector and multiply our revenues’. He hoped once the airport becomes operational it would provide easy access to tourism attractions including Ogbunike cave and Ogbaukwu caves and waterfalls.

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Project area:1,500
Level of Investment for the conflictive project2,000,000,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:21/06/2017
Company names or state enterprises:Orient Petroleum resources from Nigeria - Stakeholder in Anambra Airport project – 20%
Sinoking Enterprises Investment Ltd / Elite International Investments from China - Funder of Anambra Airport project, 75% equity stake
Osika Energy - Project consultant
Ermsworth Ltd - Project consultant
China Aviation Company - Project design
Relevant government actors:Anambra State Government
Anambra East Local Government Area
Oyi Local Government Area
Anambra State Land Acquisition Committee
Anambra State Elders Council
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Igbo Renaissance Council
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Umueri community
Umuopo, Umuinu and Enuagu kindreds (Umueri)
Residents of Nteje community
Ifite community
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Street protest/marches
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Floods (river, coastal, mudflow)
Potential: Air pollution, Global warming, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Oil spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Other Health impactsIllnesses caused by pollutants emitted by aircraft
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Violations of human rights, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women
Potential: Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Panel of inquiry by Anambra State Government into land grabbing in Nteje
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Communities affected by land acquisition for the airport city/cargo airport project have not received the economic benefits such as jobs that were promised. They were displaced from their homes and farmland and although land has been cleared to make way for a long runway the project has not been delivered. Umeuri communities claim land beyond that allocated for the project is being grabbed and Nteje residents claim land grabbing was triggered by rising land prices due to the airport project. Journalists intending to ascertain what work has been undertaken on the project have been banned from visiting the site.
Sources & Materials

[1] Umueri Cargo Airport, CAPA Centre for Aviation
[click to view]

[2] ‘Proposed $2bn Anambra Airport City project unrealistic’, The Sun, 21 June 2017
[click to view]

[3] Umueri demand full compensation on land for Anambra Airport, The National Statesman, 22 June 2017
[click to view]

[4] Anambra’s Elusive Cargo Airport Project, This Day, 11 April 2019
[click to view]

[5] Anambra Cargo Airport Mirage: Anambra On The Precipice —Igbo Renaissance Forum, Elombah News, 15 March 2020
[click to view]

[6] Airport land: Call your aides to order, Anambra community begs Obiano, The Sun, 24 July 2020
[click to view]

[7] Anambra Cargo Airport: We’ve been turned to refugees, host community cries out, Vanguard, 27 July 2020
[click to view]

[8] Nteje: Anambra Community at the Mercy of Brigands, This Day, 27 July 2020
[click to view]

[9] Aguleri, Umueri war looms again over Cargo Airport in Anambra ...Community petitions Obiano, Ohanaeze, Obi of Onitsha, The Nation, 19 September 2020
[click to view]

[10] Our property, not part of Anambra Airport land, Agro-investors warn Obiano, The News Chronicle, 14/10/2020
[click to view]

[11] Anambra community protests alleged land encroachment, The Nation, 20/10/2020
[click to view]

[13] World Exclusive: Anambra Airport City Project To Be Flagged Off On Tuesday, Nairaland Forum. 4 April 2017
[click to view]

[click to view]

[15] 2020 Anambra Budget: N6 billion proposed for cargo airport construction, Nairametrics, 27 September 2019
[click to view]

[16] Anambra govt bars Journalists from visiting Airport project site, Daily Post, 17 June 2020
[click to view]

[16] Anambra govt bars Journalists from visiting Airport project site, Daily Post, 17 June 2020
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[12] Anambra Signs MOU With Chinese Investors For Development Of Airport City, Absradiotv, 12 April 2017
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Rose Bridger, Stay Grounded email: [email protected]
Last update26/10/2020
Conflict ID:5145
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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