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Igbo move to boost southeast economy


Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu

A move is underway by leaders of the southeast geopolitical zone to forge economic integration and reposition the region for development.The initiative will have five governors and an array of prominent Igbo leaders from religious, economic, educational and political platforms rubbing minds together to tackle decrepit infrastructure and leadership void in the region.

Under the aegis of South East Leadership and Development Initiative (SELDI), the move stems from “a near state of hopeless that has befallen the southeast since the end of the Civil War and in particular, since 1999, when the present democratic experience took off.”

The leaders, it was learnt, reviewed the state of the zone in the past 17 years and concluded: “The present democratic dispensation has not helped the area.”Besides governors of the region, the initiative is also being driven by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; former Commonwealth Secretary General, Emeka Anayoku; former Ministers Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Prof. Charles Soludo, and Prof. Barth Nnaji.

Other include Dr Idika Kalu Idika, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Prof. Pat Utomi, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Prof. Pita Ejiofor, Prof. Elo Amucheazi, Rear Admiral Ebitu Ukiwe (rtd), Chief Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), former Governor Peter Obi, Dr Orji Kalu, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof. Philip Emeagwali, and author, Chimamanda Adichie.

A source told The Guardian: “The assumption that the Federal Government should play a leading role in reactivating the moribund infrastructure that stares the zone in the face is the greatest undoing of the region.”

If you look at it, critically, you will know that over 80 per cent of our active youths have remained without jobs, thus wasting their productive age. If we have the quantum of investments that have remained moribund working, we won’t have the level of unemployment existing in the southeast.”

A document obtained exclusively by The Guardian said SELDI “is dedicated to transforming and fostering the development of Nigeria, especially the southeast region, focusing on leadership development in order to change the fortunes of the people, and giving hope to present and future generations. SELDI is the response to the developmental gaps and challenges that confronted the southeast after the Civil War, which devastated the region.”

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  • Oduna

    the initiative is commendable I just hope it sees the light of the day

    • Eze Jude

      It’s a step in the right direction especially given the fact that it’s coming at a time when the rest of the world have moved on, leaving us far behind. I salute the courage of all those behind this laudable initiative. Though it’s long overdue, but it’s better late than never. It is in line with the age – long agitation from different parts of the country for regional autonomy. With the outstanding credentials of the founding members of these initiative, I have no doubt in my mind that the south east region, the land of the rising sun, is on a historic voyage of sustainable economic revolution. God help us!

  • nuelsymbol

    This type of Assembly is in fact over due. It is good and a welcomed development. It is a bitter truth that Yoruba will eventually push Igbo and Hausa/Fulani out of their economy to give room for their youth too.The dominant factor is becoming uncomfortable for Yoruba, more especially when it is not reciprocated .Even Armed Robbery and Kidnapping are not entirely left for Yoruba.

  • Darlington

    Its a welcome development. Igbos should take their destinies in their hands. We cannot be developing other regions while our home is decaying. Charity begins at home.

  • kayode Olufade

    Laudable effort and we hope the best for the states and the people.

  • Tony Chuks

    but I don’t even know why Igbos run away from this promise land

  • Suleiman Alatise

    It’s highly hoped they really mean it, because if one goes through the names in this report, only very few of them are not members of the bandits that stole all the money meant for the development of the area, so it’s good if they are truly meeting, time is running out on them, they should return their loots before it’s too late. Same goes for all politicians all across the country, they should read the handwriting on the wall.

    • lisacambell46

      You no go face your business,useless coward

    • uzo uzo

      Useless goat. Which loot? The one they took from your broke head?

  • Joanathan Sambo

    Hope this is real

  • ifechukwu

    now we are talking….

  • Amadi ikechukwu

    @ifechukwu you be frank,this is sensible thing I am ? hearing from igbo leaders.let us stop this Biafra,and focus on how to develop our region.

  • OshyLike

    The following should also be considered: Enabling environment, regarding age as wisdom rather than looking down on elders, key-in into the rail concession for fast train movements from Lagos and Porthacourt to Onitsha, et al; effective use of contiguous international airports, erosion control, business collaboration with non-ndigbos rather than the cluster method, encourage manufacturing, reduce fear of neighbouring investors on secession, take advantage of human and natural resources, review certain traditions whereby women can benefit from parents wealth so that those without any male child can invest at home, etc.

  • emmanuel kalu

    The very first thing that should be considered is that the federal government would not solve all problems. So it is important that the SE solve it problem and start making investment. Northern state have an investment company that all northern state invested in. The SW has the same. it is time the SE create it own investment company. Then they can start investing in agriculture, coal, power and many more. No more talk, it is time for action and the federal government is not going to do the work.

  • OkwuBndu

    There just have to be a serious sincerity of purpose for this initiative and we by all means , will need to play down on self-centered motives by all concerned, because the people of the South East of Nigeria appear to be an endangered lot, hence must resort to self-help efforts without having to beg any quarters nor appear to endanger others but to help ourself to survive. We need to apply our vast resources both human and materials.