By Christian Aburime
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, has called for one hundred year-plan for the development of the South East region.
Governor Soludo made the call at the South East Summit on Economy and Security held at Owerri, Imo State.
The summit which had the theme “South East Beyond 2023, Time for a Reset”, was facilitated by the South-East Governors’ Forum and supported by Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide.
Governor Soludo expressed the unwavering commitment of the state government to the Southeast agenda, noting that his government is already demonstrating its commitment by its comportment.
The Governor declared that a new dawn is upon the Southeast, a response to the people clamoring for the unity of Southeast governors.
He explained that the region need a plan because without a destination in mind, any road can be explored, citing how the state government developed a 50-year plan called the “Anambra vision 2070”.
The Governor revealed that the Southeast is ready and ripe for business, and that they must believe in their ability to make things right again and move the region forward in spite of the challenges.
He called for synergy and partnership with the rest of Nigeria, Africa and the international community to implement the plan, adding that as an itinerant people, who are everywhere, the Igbos cannot afford to be intolerant and provincial.
On his part, the Imo State Governor and Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Senator Hope Uzodimma preached for unity and cooperation among Igbo leaders and youths to bring growth to the homestead, calling for a conference between Southeast Leaders and Igbo youths to address issues affecting the region.
Also speaking, the Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, said leaders should create an enabling environment for businesses to do well in the Southeast and to identify investment opportunities within the domain.
He added that where necessary, the government should intervene in businesses, illustrating with the US government which invests $30 billion annually in agriculture, energy, transportation, and other areas to ensure food security and economic growth.
The Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, canvassed for a common strategy and operational plan to tackle security challenges in the Southeast region of Nigeria, calling for the establishment of a Command and Control Center that is central to all component states.
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru represented by his deputy, Patricia Obila said that the summit came at the right time, when Igbo governors can come together to speak with one voice.
Chairman of the occasion, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, President General Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Dr. Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Chairman of South East Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Alfred Achebe, Security Chiefs, serving and retired members of the National Assembly among others attended the summit.