The governors from the South-East, South-South geopolitical zone have agreed to push for the demand of the regional development, resource control and devolution of powers. Dailysun report.
Meeting yesterday at Government House Port Harcourt where they discussed regional and economic integration to enhance the development of the area, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike said: “Even in contemporary Nigeria, we still share the same or similar challenges, including insecurity, poverty and under-development despite the best of efforts by the constituent State governments.
“Today, the two regions are the most politically and economically marginalised within the nation, environmentally degraded and deliberated neglected by the federal government in appointments and provisions of basic development infrastructures.”
“None of the airports and seaports located in the regions is reasonably functional, while the few federal roads are not in good shape, neither are the two regions linked by any rail services.”
Speaking further, Wike said: “From geo-strategic economic perspective, therefore, there is an urgent need to establish and link our cities with railways and super highways; to provide viable and affordable flight services between our cities, and to ensure that cargoes are brought into the country and the regions through our seaports, jetties and ferry services as a veritable means of stimulating economic growth and social progress across our two regions.
“Also, we are all aware that economic growth and social progress are possible only in a peaceful and secure environment. And much as we try to tackle this menace in our respective States by providing the necessary logistic support to the security agencies, perceptions of insecurity are on the rise, doing significant damage to our investment climate, thereby, preventing reasonable inflow of direct foreign and local investment into the regions.”
He urged his colleagues to “be confident in the rightness of our course and clear in our considerations that we have been and would continue to be worse off without the will to exploit our political and economic complementarities to drive our ways into political, economic and social prosperity.
“Above all, we must continue to demand the devolution of powers and resources to the states as well as the institutionalisation of State police, now that there is national consensus on these issues.”
Chairman of the South-South and South-East Governors Forum and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel urged the governors of the two regions to form a common front for socio-economic development.
He described the meeting as a new beginning for the two geo-political zones for the good of her people.
Governor Emmanuel expressed delight that the governors set aside impediments to chart a new direction. He charged the two regions to work together for prosperity.
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