S’ East: Okonjo-Iwala, Otti, Mbah, others seek regional economic cooperation

According to Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Director General of the World Trade Centre and former Nigerian minister of the economy, a regional economy based on intentional strategies is the key to the development of the South-East region.

She made this remark on Thursday via Zoom at the Southeast summit on the region’s economy and security, which took place in Owerri, the capital of Imo State. She emphasized the importance of cooperation and harmony among the governors of the region, who have the potential to leverage the enormous human resources of the Igbo race for economic advancement.

“The Igbo have high human resources. We are scattered across the world and are excelling. I call on the Southeast governors to convene an investment forum to examine the cause of blockages within the zone and how to address them, eschew bickering and work together.

“I urge the governors to open discussions with pharmaceutical companies, and vaccine producers on how to create a market chain in the zone. It can be achieved since power has been privatised.

“I appeal to the governors to maximise the huge Ndigbo human resource to support professors to develop high-quality schools, diaspora doctors to build quality hospitals.” She summed up.

The former senate President of Nigeria and the chief host of the event, Anyim Pius Anyim, expressed his concern over the increasing insecurity in the region.

Anyim advised the leaders of the region to take a clear stand on the issue of Biafra’s sovereignty and to engage with the agitators in a constructive way.

The Onitsha monarch, Igwe Alfred Achebe, advocated for the revival of Igbo values to foster economic development.

The Imo state governor, Hope Uzodimma, who hosted his fellow governors in the state, pledged his commitment to the progress of the region.

The governors of Anambra, Abia, Enugu and Ebonyi states, Chukwuma Soludo, Alex Otti, Peter Mbah and Francis Nwifuru respectively, all affirmed their readiness to work for the harmony and security of the region.

The summit will resume today (Friday) with technical sessions.