Enugu State Governor Peter Mbah has challenged stakeholders in the South-East region of Nigeria to collaborate on building critical regional infrastructure, such as railways and roads, to create a common market and boost socio-economic prosperity.
Speaking at the South-East Economic and Security Summit in Owerri on Thursday, Mbah also advocated for a multi-dimensional approach to tackling insecurity in the region. This approach, he said, should include establishing a common security command and control center, promoting inter-agency cooperation, and implementing non-kinetic approaches such as economic transformation and employment generation.
The governor identified transportation and logistics as some key enablers needed to transform the South-East economy and thereby reduce poverty, unemployment, and consequent crimes.
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“How do we ensure that we have a road network that moves across the various cities in Anambra, Abia, Imo, Enugu, and Ebonyi?” Mbah asked. “How do we build a ring road that connects all the major cities in the South-East so that we can seamlessly encourage those who are producing and those who are providing services to distribute their products and services across the different cities of the South-East seamlessly?”
“These are things we must be intentional about if we are going to deal with unemployment and insecurity in the South-East,” he said.
Mbah also noted that the recent inclusion of railways on the Concurrent List of the Nigerian Constitution means that states in the South-East region can now collaborate to build railway lines that will connect the region to the rest of the country.
“If we pick one or two projects from this summit that we can say as a people of the South-East, we want to make sure that we execute them, I believe we can achieve them and they are going to have a huge spillover effect on our economy and security,” Mbah said.