By Prince Okafor
Founder, Sam Ohuabunwa Foundation for Economic Empowerment, Chairman of African Centre for Business Development Strategy and Innovation, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa has called on the 11 states in the South-East and South-South to integrate their economic agenda in order to make the zone prime investors’ destination.
Ohuabunwa told Vanguard in an interview that the idea of coming together “is necessary because each state in the two regions has its own plan or agenda. Due to the fact they are planning independently, they do not see the benefits of integrating certain aspects of their agenda.
He explained that the benefit of coming together is to work in synergy to make the region a domain for investors.
According to him: “If the man is in Rivers State, all he thinks is to put a rail line from Port-Harcourt to Obigbo, which is on that corridor where the road ends. It may not be viable. Investors may not find it attractive.
“But if a fast rail line is put between Enugu and Port-Harcourt, crossing through Abia, it will be fine, and will be economically viable and also will benefit both sides because it will increase economic intercourse between the two or three states that are contiguous.”
Commenting on the challenges of the strategic alliance, he said that “when you see a picture, not everybody sees the picture at the same time. Some are not even capable of seeing the picture. The work of painting the picture and getting everybody to understand it is rough and sometimes people are overwhelmed by the challenges and some are not willing to be challenged. They are just conscious of salary to be paid for the day,” he said.
He posited that South-East, South-South professionals have undertaken to think on their behalf and they have thought about how to fast-track development for the future.
Commenting on the way forward for the country, he said that the development of the country’s economy is in the hands of the private sector, the duty of the Federal Government is to interact with them on way forward. Likewise the solution to smuggling is in the hands of the government,the end to smuggling lies in the hand of Customs.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, is a very deliberate person, he is taking his time, and I think he is afraid of making mistake,” he said.