By Emeka Mamah
Enugu- The South East Development Initiative, SELDI, has urged the Igbo to take their destiny in their hands by taking the responsibility to develop the South East geopolitical zone.
SELDI said that easterners would survive on their own without looking for help from the federal, state and local governments, adding that all they needed to survive was to “think home” by investing at home.
One of the facilitators of SELDI, Mr Ikenna Modebelu who spoke in an interview in Enugu against the backdrop of the November 30, 2016 Igbo Summit in Enugu, with the theme “Integrating The Economy of the South East for Sustainable Development,” said that time had come for the South East economies to be integrated to boost investment, trade and development in the region in particular and the country in general.
His words, “Regardless of what the underlying causes of slow development in South East may be, south easterners themselves have to take the responsibility for their own progress.
“The key challenge is how to engender competitive investment environment that is necessary to bring about poverty reduction or alleviation through private sector- driven inclusive economic growth.
“Given the unwillingness or inability of most leaders to practice good governance, the onus falls squarely on accomplished South Eastern leaders, both within and outside the country, to take charge of fostering good governance that would engender the evolution of visionary and transformational leaders in the region.
“Indeed, time has come for the integration of our economies to form the largest block that will be second to Lagos in West Africa. This will be the strategy that would foster faster development across every sector in the region.”
According to Modebelu, efforts would be made to look at modalities that would raise the consciousness of Igbo during the summit, to generate enthusiasm on the need to also, explore the opportunities that “will aid in the development of the region” as well as “promote the think home, build home development philosophy,” in their towns and villages.