OPINION: Lack Of Strategy and Internal Competition are Bane Of South East Development By Obinna Oriaku

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Our clamorous disposition and strive for competition which have helped us as igbos in our survival may also be our undoing .

In the last two months, we have seen almost all the States of the South East host economic summits on way forward for their respective States and Ala- igbo in general.

The highlight of these gatherings culminated into yesterday’s ” South East Economic and Security Summit ” which was centred on security and economic development of the South-East.

While we appreciate the individual efforts of these Governors in churning out proposal on solutions to our recovery as ndi igbo, there appears to be the penchant to run on same model by each of the States as if they are duplicating or copying each other without being strategic. We can see the passion these current Governors of South East have shown towards repositioning the igbos economically and politically.

Enugu State at their Economic Summit set up a Committee on Sea port which according to them can be accessed between the boundaries of Anambra and igbo etiti local government of Enugu State. How realizable this ambitious proposal is, would best be left for the professionals.

Anambra State is also fixated on Seaport, though the Onitsha light port is yet to witness major activity as barges with containers from Lagos or Port Harcourt hardly use the port due to many issues .

Recently, we have seen the Imo state Government Commission study on how to connect to the Atlantic through the Orashi River through Oguta . The report was submitted with funfair last week and the anticipated success of this venture is undefined.

Yesterday at the summit, the Abia state Government talked about yet another seaport to be sited at Owazza. This is surprising as we only know about Azumini and Onuasu in Arochukwu being the closest to the Atlantic in Abia and alot have gone-in by way of daft survey and studies of this projects particularly in Azumini.

At the same Owerri summit, the President of Ohaneze Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu talked about seaport at Azumini in Ukwa and the Orasi Seaport at Oguta.

This shows discordant tones and lack of strategy for a region that is struggling to get the attention of the centre due to the nature of our politics as a people .

One would have thought these Governors would have set up a committee to jointly identfy among all these mentioned potential Seaports, that which is most strategic, viable and realizable.

This will ensure that the center will not use duplicity of these demands as reason to deny us any of these projects .

Just yesterday, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) started moving containers from Apapa seaport through rail to Ibadan dry port just like kaduna dry Port that has been in use for over 6 years .

We as igbos need to be strategic in our engagement and lessen the all too often dissonance voices attached to these endeavors until they materialize else we will be running round in cycles.

We can do better by being strategic and work behind the scene to achieve our objectives.

Chief Obinna Oriaku (Ekwedike) was a former Commissioner for Finance, Abia state

29- 09- 23

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