Ngige tasks South-East governors on regional integration

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige PHOTO: NAN

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige PHOTO: NAN

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has said that governors of South-East are not taking advantage of regional integration to grow the zone’s economy.

Ngige made this known at the Enugu State Investment Summit on Friday.

He said that the region was economically backward due to lack of visionary leadership and commitment to the masses by political leaders.

According to him, the current economic uncertainty offers everybody, including the government, opportunity to look inwards and diversify the economy.

“For those of us who go into government, we are not in government to serve ourselves.

“Unfortunately, people go into government and they think they are there for their immediate families,” he said.

Ngige said that governors in the zone needed to realise that “Nigeria is a federation where much depended on what you do for your people in terms of development individually.

“If the governors promote this issue of regional highway, particularly in the agrarian areas, it will be beneficial for posterity and modernise farming in these areas,” Ngige said.

Ngige also said that the Federal Government had initiated a N500 billion intervention scheme, adding that farming would take a large chunk of the sum.

He appealed to the governors to open up the zone for entrepreneurs by ensuring that good roads were built and embrace policies that would support investments in the area.

“During my time as governor of Anambra State, we embarked on building federal roads that passed through our state because they were impassable from Niger Bridge. I told my fellow governors then, that we should consider South-East regional road integration in view of the fact that our people are traders and like to move.

“I picked a major road project from Igboukwu up to Isuochi.

“I asked my Abia state counterpart to move it from there into Umuahia and Aba but it was not done,” he said.

Ngige said other governors in the zone never bought into the idea, but that he insisted on getting the work done in Anambra state axis.

“The idea of regional highway development should not be taken for granted. The governors should cooperate. It is not too late to start now.

The minister also said that the road from Nsukka into Adani in Enugu State to Anyamelum in Anambra was a federal highway.

“However, we need it to move the rice from Adani so that our people can have food and jobs,” he said.

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  • WhichWayNigeria(WWN)

    Until people stop thinking Federally and start approaching issues from a regional perspective; Until people stop looking for foreign intervention and stop their dependence on Abuja as solution, we may not fully understand nor appreciate the concept of regionalism, and how it can move our regions forward. Our Over dependence and over reliance on Abuja as our savior has made us lazy, less creative and impoverished. As we advance our cause for an independent Biafran nation, we can take the baby step of consolidating our resources to building strong and reliable “energy” that can sustain economic growth in our region, build “good road network” and turn our “vigilante groups” into an effective security crime fighter, those are the indexes that can spur growth and attract the much needed investments in our region. I do subscribe for a Biafran independent nation, however, I am also open to a regional government arrangement under a less powerful Federal government that does not interfere with regional autonomy or their ways of life except but to guarantee and enforce the rights of all citizens no matter what region to choose to reside. Ngige, take this message to Buhari as our proposal to stand down on our outright demand for an independent Biafra, if the Federal Government cannot or unwilling to meet our conditions, we cannot guarantee the cooperate existence of Nigeria.

    • emmanuel kalu

      the problem is that we don’t have SE governor cooperating and fighting for more regional development and growth. is there something wrong with the SE state taking control of the ever important Niger bridge, expanding it and then toll it. They could lease it from the federal government for 50 years.

  • emmanuel kalu

    i am glad that there is someone from the SE telling this lazy governor that it is time to cooperate to get things done. There are load of investment that if the SE governors band together, they could be doing to improve the region. until we get governor that have vision, drive and leadership to implement policy and investment that would grow the economy of the region. what is stop the SE governors from banding together to invest in agro processing plants, power generation, modular refineries, large scale farms, even in railway?