ENUGU—In a bid to shore-up the dwindling business investments in the south-east geopolitical zone, the Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF,has held its maiden business conference of Igbo leaders with a vow to adopt strategies that would influence the socio-economic,political and cultural growth of the people.
Tagged,’Rebuilding and Development of Igbo Nation: Think Home, Invest Home!’ The conference which witnessed an array of Igbo leaders resolved to reposition the region to restore its development strides that had been distorted since the end of the Nigeria-Biafra war in 1970.
The ADF also, resolved to rekindle interest in Igbo values,culture,language,lore and literature among others with a view to ensuring the Igbo takes its pride of place in the country.Setting the tone of the conference,the Royal Father of the day and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe, appealed to Igbo business community to drive investment into the land as the region is gradually becoming an infrastructural desert.
“We are gradually becoming a desert of sort following the dwindling socio-infrastrutural deficit. Countries like United States of America, USA, China and India shut their doors to developed countries inorder to develop themselves. Today they are world powers.
“We must put every machinery in place to drive increased investment in Igbo land,” the Royal Father said. In his welcome address, the ADF President, Prof. Uzodinma Nwala said,”south-east was devastated by war since the last century, neglected as a punitive measure,abandoned because of denied infrastructure, infested by unemployment, poverty and the resultant crime wave.
“Our neighbours now mock us. Ironically we have developed other lands and ignored our own. If only we invest 40 percent of our investment in just other parts of Nigeria, Igbo land would be the economic heart of Africa. We are determined to rebuild and develop the Igbo nation. A rebirth and advancement that will uplift her spirit, culture and civilization. “Igboland can be rebuilt through massive depolyment of human and natural resources that are abundant in Igboland. The philosophy of self-help and self-reliance must be awakened in the heart and mind of every Igbo man, woman and child. Our spirit and culture of hard work must be awakened…
“As one of our own, Dr. Okechukwu Ikejiani,once wrote, ‘until a more positive mechanism emerges on a federal level, the Igbo must learn to fend for themselves at least from an economic and social standpoint just as they are currently doing but on a more highly coordinated level rather than individualistic approach.’
“It is conceivable that with tremendous amount of talent and connection of all Igbo abroad working in unism with those at home in, Nigeria, the heartland of Igbo may be converted into economies like Taiwan and Hong Kong among other,” he added.