Posted by News Express | 13 April 2016 | 2,020 times
South-East governors have been urged to unite and work as a zone towards creating more industrial clusters and supporting existing ones so as to expand the zone’s economy and generate employment for its teeming youths.
This advice was dropped yesterday by the keynote speaker at the Enugu Investment Summit and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr Tony Elumelu.
In his paper titled ‘Role of Private Sector in Nigeria’s Development and South-East Regional Integration’, Mr. Elumelu, Chairman of UBA, noted that that policy summersaults have been the major bane of industrial revolution in the South-East as several efforts in the past did not yield the expected dividends.
He charged the governors to stop investing their states’ meager resources in non-profitable ventures like stadiums and concentrate in competitive areas that would open up the zone for investment and industrialisation.
He also urged them to stop what he tagged ‘a lone ranger chase’ and emphasise a collective fight for the interest of the South-East as any part of the South-East that opens up brings good tidings to the entire zone.
He further promised that companies in which he has interests as well as his business partners all over the world would partner with South-East governors and Enugu State governor in particular to make the summit’s intentions a reality, provided the enabling environment is put in place.
Elumelu advocated a regional incentive from the South-East governors to attract investors and use the opportunity to turn the South-East zone to a huge market for locally produced goods. He encouraged them to harmonise development policies targeted at wooing investors both locally and internationally.
He frowned at the phenomenon of multiple taxes often imposed by various governments in the country and urged governors in the zone to avoid the loophole, pointing out that multiple taxation frustrates economy and dampens investors’ willingness to invest more. He further appealed for friendly communities as no investor would go where there are crisis and unstable government policies.
He recalled how he came with his business partners from Australia to boost the thermal station at Oji River from 300 megawatts to 500 megawatts but met brick walls. He lamented that the employment opportunities the project would have created went with the failed dream.
Elumelu disclosed that his foundation has empowered some 90 young people from the South-East to the tune of $10,000 each, and would still do more, even as he called on other wealthy people in the zone to invest in the youths to enable start their own businesses.
•Text courtesy of The AUTHORITY. Photo shows Tony Elumelu.
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