The first thing Azikiwe did on becoming premier in Enugu was to design the Eastern Nigerian Economic Reconstruction plan (1954-1964) as the blueprint for Eastern Nigerian development.
It is now on record that published accounts placed the Eastern Nigerian economy as the fastest growing economy in the world by 1964. It was based on the Zik plan that the Industrial Estates at Enugu, Trans-Amadi (PH) and Aba were built.
The Agricultural and industrial policies later implemented by Okpara was at the core of that program. There was not a single city in the East that did not become an industrial hub - from the Modern Breweries, Ceramics, and so on in Umuahia, to the first integrated Gas plant, the Niger Gas, or even the Niger Steel plant, which was billed to be integrated with the proposed Onitsha integrated Steel corporation that was later moved to Ajaokuta, as the first of such in the continent, and which was, with the Tri-city industrial Gas pipeline already laid between Port-Harcourt and Aba, with the Owerri end at foot, to be the hub of Eastern Nigerian Industrial and Technological development. All these were destroyed by the Civil war.
The Eastern Nigerian Pharmaceutical Laboratories and Corporation, which later partnered and became Pfizer (WA) was established in Aba by Zik. It became Pfizer's West African Operational Headquarters until it was moved to Lagos in 1970 at the end of the war.
As at 1967, Aba stood on same footing with Lagos as an industrializing city: whatever industry was established in Lagos was also established in Aba - the Nigerian Breweries, Nestle's first production HQ, Lever Brothers, Proctor & gamble etc; all had Aba operations to serve Central West Africa, all because of the great Zik.
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