Professionals unveil blueprint to revolutionise S’East, S’South
Honour Okonjo-Iweala, Duke, others
The South-East and South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) has unveiled a blueprint to revolutinise the two regions. At the launch, on Sunday, in Lagos, the professionals said the document tagged ‘Development Agenda for South-East & South-South (DASESS 2035), would enhance growth, economic stability and improve the living conditions of the indigenes.
In his remarks, chairman of the occasion and former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Alexander Ogomudia (rtd), stressed that the challenges of both geopolitical zones should be painstakingly dealt with to allow for sustainable development.
He charged the association to do more in the area of sensitising the political class on improved investment in the oil sector and the industrial growth of the regions.
“Part of the challenges that faces us in this part of Nigeria also include increased recourse to violence, criminality, and lack of inclusion in governance. As we recognise these challenges, we should also understand that the future is already here, with most economies being technology-driven,” Ogomudia said.
The ex-military chief pleaded that the youth be robustly accommodated in the development plan to prepare them for leadership in the future.
To achieve this, he charged: “The association must give serious thought to education and industrial development within our sub-region to fix our youths socio-economically, socio-politically and connecting them at the federal level.”
For the emerging security challenges in the two zones to stop, he advised government to create more jobs for young people.
“If you don’t create jobs, armed robbers would create jobs for themselves,” he stated. Earlier, SESSPN’s President, Hannibal Uwaifo, regretted that the Federal Government had turned “deaf ears to the much-complained institutional breakdowns, social, economic and political issues arising from the two regions.”
He deplored the developments at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) arising from the current administration’s failure to inaugurate a new board for the interventionist agency.
Uwaifo submitted that the DASESS 2035 roadmap “is a workable and lasting solution to produce a process of social and economic arena that thrives on hardwork, justice, equity, fair play, education, rule of law, security, transparent judicial process, good governance and market economy.”
Highpoint of the event was the recognition and presentation of awards to prominent citizens, including the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, erstwhile Governors of Cross Rivers and Imo states, Donald Duke, and Emeka Ihedioha, as well as founding president of SESSPN, Emmanuel Ijewere.
Others are President of Afrexim Bank, Prof. Okey Benedict Oramah, the late Chidi Izuwah, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, Managing Director of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Uche Orji and Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote.