By Felix Nwadioha
The Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu, on Saturday commended the South-East Governors for their synergy in organising the economic summit to brainstorm on how to move the region forward.
Ekweremadu gave the commendation at the maiden South-East Economic summit with the theme: ‘Repositioning South-East for Rapid Economic Development’, in Enugu.
The three-day summit was organised by the South-East Governors’ Forum in conjunction with Department For International Development (DFID), Nigeria.
He urged the summit to address the issue of power and other issues that would accelerate rapid economic development of the region.
The deputy senate president expressed regrets that there was no legislative backing to compel implementation of the resolutions reached by various regional economic summits held in the country.
Ekweremadu, who called for devolution of more powers to states, said the Senate was working had to devolve more power from the exclusive list to the concurrent list.
In his goodwill message, Chief Nnia Nwodo, President , Ohaneze Ndigbo, commended the enterprising spirit of the governors.
Nwodo said that the cooperation of the governors was a phenomenon in moving the region forward.
According to him, the summit is timely because the zone is facing serious economic challenges.
“South-East has the worst road infrastructure; 9 per cent of the nationally generated power is also allocate to the zone.
“Yet we compete with Lagos State in terms of Small and medium scale industries,” Nwodo said.
Also, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, applauded the unity of the South-East Governors, and expressed confidence that the roadmap for the development of the zone would emerge after the summit.
Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum, while declaring the summit open, said the spirit of love, respect and to work for the welfare of the people had been discovered.
According to him, we have the potential to change our story by coming together as a people.
“If we begin to imbibe hard work, we will get it right in the south-east.
“The lessons of the summit would help us to get it right,” Umahi said,
Also, Prof. Anya O. Anya, the Chairman of the summit, commended the south-east governors for showing balanced leadership during the Egwu Eke II in the zone.
Anya, the founding Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, said the youths must be guided and made to ride on the wisdom of the elders of the zone.
The three-day summit is expected to end on Monday.