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Omo-Agege tasks South South governors on economic integration

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Deputy Senate President (DSP), Ovie Omo-Agege, has urged governors of the South South geo-political zone to foster regional economic integration through massive investment on infrastructure.

He made the appeal yesterday in his goodwill message to the second yearly general meeting of the Forum of South South Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (FOSSCCIMA) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Special Duties, Godwin Anaughe, the DSP encouraged the chief executives to build superhighways and railways to link the BRACED states.

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He also enjoined them to invest in the power sector and gas, adding that those facilities would galvanise economic activities and development in the region.

His words: “It is against this backdrop that I find the theme for this year’s lecture, “Economic Integration of the South-South Region – A panacea for Economic Growth” – apt and timely.

“One important lesson of the COVID-19 debacle is that it can no longer be business as usual. The pandemic and the subsequent global economic downturn have also accentuated the importance of economic integration as engine of growth and development in many economies of the world.

“For the South South region, the need for growth calls for economic integration that would help set the entire region on a more prosperous growth path. I wish to make it very clear, however, that the economic integration of the zone is not a short-term answer to its current socio-economic problems.”

Omo-Agege continued: “Rather, it is the long-term answer to the question of South South economic growth, diversification, competitiveness, enterprise and jobs.”

He hailed the establishment of the BRACED commission some years back, regretting that its vision had not been achieved due to lack of commitment. Highlight of the event was the investiture of Dr. Okon Emah as new FOSSCCIMA president.

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