An Igbo socio-cultural group, called Nzuko Umunna, has called for the operationalisation of the South-East development plan to transform the area into the economic hub of West Africa.
Mr Emeka Onwuka, an official of the organisation, made the call on Friday, when the group paid a courtesy visit on Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia at the Government House, Umuahia.
Onwuka said the South-east had the potential to become a thriving economic hub, if the states could harness the potential.
He said that the group had evolved an economic blueprint containing recommendations on policy imperatives for the development of Abia and the southeast.
Onwuka said the desire to achieve policy reform, economic development and security of lives and property depended largely on the efforts of stakeholders in the region.
He therefore called on the Southeast Governors’ Forum “to forge a common front to confront the existential security and sundry challenges that beset Ndigbo.”
Onwuka commended Abia government for its efforts in activating socio-economic development in the state, adding that it was a ”sure path to regain its lustre and lost glory.”
He said that Nzuko Umunna was committed to engaging stakeholders and proffering supportive ideas for the development of the zone.
He urged the state government to convene strategic retreats and follow-up technical meetings in furtherance to the overall development of the zone.
Responding, Gov. Ikpeazu said that recent developments had made it necessary for Abia to tap the resources and jump start economic renaissance.
He said: “Societies that have developed leverage the advantages they got from various ethnic nationalities. So that those who are not very strong rely on the stronger groups.”
“God has blessed us with different capacities. We cannot continue to complain. We need to take decisions to integrate the region.”
He said that the state government’s transformational agenda was focused on initiating programmes and policies that would develop the state, southeast and Nigeria in general.
Ikpeazu said that the state would give consideration to the suggestions and recommendations provided in the blueprint.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group later presented a copy of the Nzuko Umunna Economic Committee Report to the governor.