Sequel to the second edition of the South-East South-South Professionals of Nigeria (SESSPN) forum held in Port Harcourt, the body has presented the draft development agenda for the South East South-south 2035 (DASSES 2035) while identifying security as the number one enabler of economic growth in the region.
This was contained in a communique presented after the two day forum and signed by the President of the association Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju and the General secretary Barr. DagogoKaribi-White.
Recall that a new roadmap for regional integration and economic Development of the South-east and South-South a 20 year Development Agenda (DASESS 2035)”, which will instigate the transformation of South-east and South-South zones into a global investment destination by attracting investors, identifying areas of comparative and competitive advantages of the regions and plan optimal exploitation in a synergistic manner was the thrust of the 2-day forum.
In the communique, the association stated that in view of the current challenges faced by the federal government and the need to diversify and intensify economic growth, a regional approach to economic planning must be encouraged.
The association also stated that the buy-in of the region’s state governments remain critical to the success of this drive and that SESSPN will continue to explore strategies and avenues to strengthen their commitment to this agenda.
The association called on state governments to appreciate and play its central role in providing enabling environment for the development of the region.
‘While the regional development efforts will be private sector driven, SESSPN urge state governments to appreciate and play its central role in providing enabling environment for the development of the region, to this end SESSPN will facilitate deliberate training and re-training of the public sector staff to bring them in alignment with the standards required in this new economic order.
The forum also reveal that the DASSES 2035 is a non-partisan plan which the forum will continue to promote for adoption by all state government within the region irrespective of political leanings.
The forum also said it will align with trade groups within the region with a view of supporting them to strengthen their advocacy while pursuing as a matter of urgency the procurement of a pool of funds to help drive economic growth within the region working with the private sector.
On the issue of security, the forum noted with dismay the hesitant and thus far inadequate response of the presidency and other federal agencies to the excesses of the Fulani herdsmen within the region and warned that the nation’s leadership must act swiftly and judiciously to arrest the menace to avoid unwittingly encouraging the affected communities to take laws into their hands.