Deputy Speaker, Federal House of Representatives Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has said the people of South East and South-South geopolitical zones are not taking advantage of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda to develop the area.
According to Ihedioha, the people of the zone have not taken it upon themselves to key into the programmes of the Federal government by identifying their areas of need and how to realise their ambition.
Speaking at the South East and South-South development forum in Asaba yesterday, Ihedioha said, “In the past we did not have the privilege of having president of this country from the zone.
“We also have the privilege of having the Secretary to the government of the federation, the minister of finance, minister of Niger Delta and a host of others and yet we do not know how to articulate our interest on the little thing we need to jump start the economic development of our areas.”
He said the people should go beyond rhetoric’s and seek practical ways through which the economies of the two regions can benefit from the abundant human and material resources and skills that exist in the area.
He said the theme of the forum, “From Talk to Action”, was not only apt but implied that in the past, too much talk shops took place without any concrete development to show for all the efforts.
According to him, the National Assembly was ready and willing to partner with organisations to ensure that necessary legislative initiatives were put in place to fast track the economic transformation of the country.
He stated that one of the constitutional amendments which the House of Representatives passed was the devolution of powers from the centre to the other federating units, in order to ensure that they were economically viable to deliver democracy dividends to the people.
Some issues on the exclusive legislative list such as railways, generation, transmission and distribution of electricity housing and health, Ihedioha said, have been transferred to concurrent list.
President of South East South-South Professionals of Nigeria, organisers of the forum, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju noted some key characteristic exhibited by 13 high growth economics to include importation of knowledge and exploitation of global demand, effective leadership and governance, Micro-Economic stability, market allocation of resources and high investment and savings which he said could be adapted to the nation’s regional economy to achieve similar high growth rate over the next 20 years.
He said the country’s regional governments did so in the sixties when the economy grew faster than Malaysia and South Korea.