Jonathan Commends South-South Govs

For Infrastructural, Economic Devt.

By AUSTIN ETAGHENE/KELVIN OSEMENE/ANDREW IKEHI

EFforts of the South-South governors at transforming the economy of the region yesterday received applauds from the Federal Government.

Declaring pen the second South-South Economic Summit in Asaba, Delta State, President Goodluck Jonathan lauded the foresight of the governors for striving to evolve sustainable economic development that was dependent on oil.

Speaking through Vice-President Namadi Sambo, President Jonathan explained that time has come for government to explore other sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture, in moving the society forward.

He expressed full support for the South-South governors, adding that the Federal Government shares the same vision, which according to him formed part of the transformation of the present administration.

In his address, host governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan said that the need to facilitate rapid and robust economic development in Delta State informed the exploration of non-oil sector. He identified power and transport, agriculture and tourism as some of the potentials that will be of interest to investors.

According to the governor, the policy of developing Delta without oil which is hinged on public private partnership will manifest into enormous dividends to the people, particularly with projects such as the Warri industrial part, Koko free Trade zone, Delta Leisure Resort at Oleri and Ogwashi-Uku zoo.

He also identified the state’s micro-credit scheme as a vital tool in bringing to reality the dream of not only    empowering the people but diversifying the economy.

While acknowledging security challenges currently facing the country, Dr. Uduaghan assured that steps have been taken to ensure the safely of investment in the state.

Also speaking, Rwanda President, Paul Kegame represented by John Agora noted that his country and the South South geo-political zone of Nigeria share the unfortunate history of crisis, adding that Rwanda Surmounted its problems by putting them behind.

While stressing that there is no single solution to a nation’s problem, Kegame advised the South-South to put the days of crisis behind and adopt resilient measures to forge ahead.

The occasion which was attended by the governors of Bayelsa Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta States, also witnessed the presentation of paper by notable expert, including Dr. John Lipsky of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.