‘Why South East governors must initiate integrated regional development’

Following the perennial collapse of infrastructure across the South East, Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), has called on the governors to urgently initiate a master plan for regional integration.The Igbo think tank comprises South East personalities in the country and abroad.

Nigeria, according to the group, has long betrayed the commitment for its development, which manifested in the contradictions and consequent retrogressive policies of marginalisation pursued by successive regimes.

“Given these realities, it is abundantly self-evident that any region desiring development must do so through a self-driven effort, a comprehensive marshal plan and a regional development platform,” president of the group, Tochukwu Ezeoke, stated yesterday, adding that for 59 years, Nigeria had continued to fail in its developmental efforts.

His words, “We submit that the South East region has more population than Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Taiwan, Belgium, Sweden, Israel, The Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland as well as many African countries.

“It is thus a region that can effectively mobilise its population, human and material, at home and in the Diaspora for unprecedented regional development through a public/private/Diaspora partnership under the auspices of a regional investment/development corporation.

“We, again, call on the governors of the South East to initiate a marshal plan and, following from its recommendations, float a regional investment/development corporation to be capitalised through contributions from each state in the first instance, banks, shares, bonds, crowd-funding and Diaspora development funds.”

Meanwhile, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has announced a minor cabinet reshuffle, redeploying the Commissioner for Human Capital Development and Monitoring, Uchenna Orji, to Information and State Orientation. Orji replaces Kenneth Uhuo, who was redeployed to the Ministry of Information and Orientation as permanent secretary.

Orji, while briefing journalists shortly after the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had given the state N2 billion loan for its continuous empowerment of the citizenry due to successes previously recorded in the area by the administration.

Umahi also moved the Commissioner for Education, Dr. Stephen Odo, to the Ministry of Human Capital Development and Monitoring, and appointed university lecturer, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima, as new Commissioner for Education.According to the governor, the minor reshuffle takes immediate effect.

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David Umahi
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