Experts advise South-East governors on how to fast-track region’s economic development

Posted by Stanley Nwanosike | 16 November 2017 | 1,440 times

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•SEREDEC Chairman, Prof. Barth Nnaji

The South-East Economic Summit (SEES) has urged the South-East governors to increase their funding of regional infrastructure for rapid, uniformed and inter-linked regional economic growth.

The stakeholders made the call in a communiqué jointly signed by Prof. Barth Nnaji, the Chairman, South-East Region Economic Development Company (SEREDEC) and the Director-General of South-East Governors’ Forum, Prof. Simon Ortuanya.

The event was held between Nov. 11 and Nov. 13 in Enugu and had the theme “Re-positioning South-East for Rapid Economic Development”.

The communiqué said that the participants agreed that lack of infrastructure development had been the bane of the region and which had retarded its development since after the 30-month Nigeria-Biafra war.

The participants recalled how the region flourished before and immediately after the independence before the civil war.

The communiqué, however, commended the South-East governors for synergising and coming together through the South-East Governors’ Forum for the greater good of the people, leading to forging of a common economic front for the region by the SEES.

The participants also made the following  recommendations:

“Adoption of the study conducted by the Brenthurst Foundation on the infrastructure needs of the South-East and called on the South-East Governors’ Forum to pursue the full implementation of South-East infrastructure development blue-print.

“In addition, the summit adopted the presentations, recommendations and proposals made in the summit on infrastructural development in agriculture, Ease of Doing Business (EODB), infrastructure, health, education and media development.

“On EODB – the summit called on governments to improve the EODB in the region by supporting and providing needed infrastructural development in terms of man-power development, land provision and ease to get credit facilities from financial institutions.

“And also, the government should pass laws, give executive orders and make other procedures that would enable, facilitate and make transparent all procedure and offices meant for the EODB in their various states.

“Summit would work hard with other development partners, international agencies and government’s ministries, departments and agencies to ensure that the region moved forward in its rate of EODB chart of the 2018 World Bank sub-nation index.

“On infrastructure – the summit fully adopted the presentations made on railway, road, gas pipeline, ICT industrial park and power supply and their concession to ensure sustainability and efficiency when built.

“On Agriculture – the summit noted that the region must improve its agricultural capacity in order to build a sustainable agriculture hub in the region, feed itself and export basic foods, while developing an agro-allied processing hub for the country.

“On health solution, the summit wants a functional and first class world hospital with its satellite hospitals that would attract health tourism to the region and reduce mortality at all levels.

“On media – the summit agreed that the region must key in into various media platforms and engagements, while the governments should use the media to propagate the EODB initiative of the zone in a robust way as well as support media that project developments in the region.

“In conclusion, the summit called on South-East Governors’ Forum to please fund and support the summit’s regional task force and state task force in realising the objectives and planned actions of the summit,” it said.

The communiqué believed that the private-NGOs-public-government partnership was the best way to realise the summit’s visions with the private, NGOs and public sectors in the driver’s seat.

The summit was organised by the South-East Governors’ Forum in conjunction with South-East Region Economic Development Company (SEREDEC), the Department for International Development (DFID), UK and Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL).

Other organisations that supported the summit are Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ala-Igbo Development Foundation, Ndigbo in Lagos, Nzuko Umunna, South-East Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other development partners in the zone. (NAN)

Source: News Express

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