In order to benefit from the current Economic Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government, the south east zone of Nigeria has been urged to take advantage of its comparative advantage in the production of certain commodities to grow its economy. Stakeholders who attended the October 2011 edition of the Development Policy unanimously called on the governors of the zone to embrace the platform offered by the South East Nigeria Economic Commission (SENEC) instead of depending on the Federal Government for economic emancipation.
The programme was organised by AIAE in collaboration with Director Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research (CEDR), Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and South East Nigeria Economic Commission (SENEC).
The guest speaker at the Forum, Dr. James Sackey who spoke on the theme“ Towards Accelerated Growth and Transformation of the Nigerian Economy: Missed Opportunities, Existing Prospects and the Way Forward”, said governments of the zone should focus on building capacity at the private sector level for enhanced service provision (especially in infrastructure provision). He added that they should seek to strengthen role in program implementation, funding and sustainability of agricultural practice having discovered that Federal level dominance has not been effective in the zone.
The chairmen of the occasion, Mr. Jude Akubuilo, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry and Engineer Chris Okoye, the Interim Chairman SENEC Steering Committee, noted that this is the best time for the zone to move forward calling on all stakeholders to join hands to achieve this noble objective.
The Executive Director of AIAE, Professor Eric Eboh while welcoming participants to the forum noted that the Institute would continue to engagement government in quality policy debate in collaboration with other stakeholders. He reiterated that economic issues should not be left in the hands of government alone because everyone is a stakeholder in economic emancipation.
It was a consensus at the seminar that government the in south east states should spearhead the finance of infrastructural projects in the zone and later engage the Federal government to refund money spent on these projects. The communiqué issued at the end of the forum reads in part.
Other eminent personalities who graced the occasion include; Professor C.U Okoye, Director Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research (CEDR),Mr Martin Ilo, former Secretary to Enugu State Government,Mr Agu Ojukwu, for Economic Adviser to the Governor of Abia State, Dr Uju Agomoh, Executive Director, PRAWA,Chuka Uzoh, Manager (News)FRCN Enugu,Barr. Ikeazor Akaraiwe,Prof. Okwudiba Nnoli and others.