…Seeks collaboration on economic development
A think tank of like minds comprising Igbo intellectuals, professionals and stakeholders under the auspices of Nzuko Umunna, has extolled the leadership qualities of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State as well as his administration’s remarkable achievements in transforming the state as a model of peace and good governance.
The group which felicitated with Gov. Ugwuanyi on his re-election, noted with delight the peace, political harmony and development trajectory he has brought to bear on the state’s governance.
Speaking when members of the Think Tank paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Ugwuanyi, the leader of delegation, Prof. Bath Nnaji, told the governor that they were impressed “with pride that Enugu State, under your leadership, continues to rank among the most secure and peaceful states”.
Prof. Nnaji added that members of the group, including the former Minister of Women Affairs, Iyom Josephine Anenih, Methodist Archbishop of Enugu Archdiocese, Most Rev. Christopher Ede and former Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, among others, appreciate with pride that Enugu State under the leadership of Gov. Ugwuanyi “is one of the highest-ranking solvent states in Nigeria and was rated by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) as one of the eight financially stable states a few months ago”.
According to him, “we are proud of Enugu’s ranking by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business survey as the third best place to start business among the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“We have equally noted with admiration your massive investment in education and human capital development as well as the reforms and infrastructural transformation of the justice system. Importantly, we are impressed with your special attention to rural development and urban renewal”.
The leader of the delegation disclosed that the visit was symbolic and a veritable platform for them to pledge their support and friendship and seek ways of partnering with the state government to contribute their quota towards the optimal actualization and implementation of its economic and development agenda for Enugu State.
Prof. Nnaji, who presented the group’s recommendations on key areas of priority to Gov. Ugwuanyi, stressed that their constructive and strategic engagement with his administration will help Enugu State to fully achieve its potentials and “outperform yourself in your second tenure”.
He disclosed that they are also simultaneously engaging other governors and leaders of the South East geopolitical zone “for a fast-tracked development of the South East geopolitical zone”, expressing delight that the governors already have a flourishing forum.
“We therefore encourage and count on you and your brother governors to work together in implementing a South East Socio-Economic Development Blueprint”, Prof Nnaji added, announcing that the group and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have scheduled a maiden edition of a joint lecture themed: “The Labour of our Heroes Past” for mid-2020 in Imo State.
“This is a Pan Igbo Project that will bring the entire Igbo nation and friends of Ndigbo around the world together to celebrate our heritage and further appraise and fine-tune a trajectory for South East development…We want Enugu State Government to be actively involved” he said.
On the South East Development Commission Bill passed by the 8th National Assembly, which is yet to be signed by Mr. President, the Think Tank group urged the governors to engage the South East Caucus of the National Assembly as well as influential leaders of South East extraction in the ruling party to ensure that the Commission becomes a reality as a rallying force at the Federal Government level for human and material resources for the development of South East.
“We are aware of the various initiatives by pan South East bodies like the Aka Ikenga, South East Economic Summit Group, the Lower Niger Congress, AfriHeritage institution, AlaIgbo Development Foundation, South East Region Economic Development Company (SEREDEC), and South East Nigeria Economic Commission (SENEC), among others to drive development at states and regional level in the South East.
“We look forward to working with Your Excellency, the South East Governors Forum, leaders of the above organizations, the leadership of Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, and other relevant mechanisms towards the harmonization and implementation of all interventions recommended.
“The bottom line is to support the vision of providing comprehensive and sustainable development in the entire South East region, where relevant organizations in the South East play their roles to achieve synergy”.
Other members of the delegation include Dr. Uju Agomoh, Secretary, Strategy Committee; Mr. Uche Anichukwu, Secretary, Team Enugu; Rev Fr. Nnaemeka Udeonu; Prof. Chika More; Dr Okobo Paul Onyia; Mazi Bede Okoye; Obioma Okoye; Dr Kachi Nworga; Dr Alex Ogbonnia; Mr Ken onyekaonwu; Chief Everest Ozonweke and Mazi Charles Ogbu.