Okonjo Iweala’s speech really cut deep and had all spellbound.
She started by chastising us on how we have been our biggest enemy by not supporting each other, we are too individualistic, we have left the sense of common purpose and focused on fragmentation.
She talked about the security challenges and why we should continue to work towards ending it.
She talked about the gas project currently ongoing in the region and encouraged the governors to push on.
She believes we can do better and should hold ourselves to higher standard after all, we Ndi Igbo and should never settle for less.
She pointed out the Budgit statistics figure which shows that some South Eastern states are doing relatively well especially Ebonyi and Anambra, but insisted that it is below expectation as we should aim higher.
She admonished the Govs to improve thteir IGR, judicious utilization of the FAAC, debt and challenged the Gov to do better on them.
She talked about infrastructure and how bad we have done so far.
She suggested we plan on exiting the national grid for special area also emulate Bath Nnaji who has done something worthy of note and advised we attract renewable energy.
She pointed out how hardworking and entrepreneurial we are as Ndi Igbo as she has witnessed our people across the world.
But expressed worry on how these entrepreneurial skills are yet to make any impact in the region.
She talked about moving away from just building mansions in our villages to building sustainable growth.
Can we attract these supply chains she asked?
The world is moving towards AI, digital economy, fintech, electric car, etc
She talked about how Digital trade
Digital services can be utilized to enhance creative Industry in the region.
“We need digital infrastructure to make our region attract digital infrastructure”
Online opportunities should be made available for our teeming youths.
Can we have Enugu silicon valley?
Digital economy should be given a special attention as more business transaction takes place via this means.
She talked about manufacturing in Aba and Nnewi, but suggested how we can activate industries in Owerri and Abakiliki as well.
Another huge resource we have and haven’t utilized is the diaspora resources.
She spoke extensively on how this has helped but not in a way that is regenerative.
She encouraged that we intentionally make Southeast the Service Hub for education
Service hub for health by encouraging Diaspora doctors to come home and build hospitals, referencing her husband.
Diaspora for financing
She suggested that the governors come together and float the Southeast diaspora bond that can trap all these monies.
She said more but these are few I could type.