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Economy (20)

The Senator representing Anambra North in the National Assembly, Senator Stella Oduah, has called on all South Easterners to plough some of their investments back home to develop the region. With particular reference to indigenes of Anambra State, the former Aviation Minister said any wealthy ‘Anambarian’ who refuse to invest in the region, is not only doing a disservice to the region in general but the state in particular. Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, Oduah said that according to a World Bank definition which she aligned with, one could only be said to be wealthy if the people around such individual feel and benefit from the wealth. Championing the campaign tagged “Aku Lue Uno” (which means ‘The wealth should reach home’), the senator said that Anambra State and indeed the South East had very wealthy people who could develop the region if they invested their wealth back home. She explained that ‘Aku Lue Uno’ is a prosperity sharing gospel that the South East must adopt for their well being as well as the growth and development of the area. She therefore called on all South Easterners especially, those from Anambra, to bring back some of their wealth to develop the region. She however stressed that it was not a call for all investment in other regions to be collapsed adding that the Federal Government should also be mindful of its responsibility to the region. “Aku Lue Uno is a concept that encourages indigenes to think of their homes in their investments. “It is not just the right thing to do, it is economically viable to invest in our homes, particularly for those from the South East and Anambra in particular. “We have the enabling community, we have the population and current government initiatives have provided enabling environment. so what we need is to plough back our investment, our commercial ability. “What we have outside the South East zone should be replicated in the zone, we need to start domesticating our investments so we can help our people. “We would help in improving the poverty level, we will help in creating jobs, we would help in growing our domestic economy. Most importantly our people will feel that accomplishment we have. “In doing so, we would be doing what is termed shared prosperity, in doing so we are doing what is termed Aku Lue Uno,” she said. Itemising the magnitude of wealth controlled by Igbos, particularly those from Anambra, Oduah said that according to statistics, one out of every four industries in Nigeria belonged to an individual from Anambra and one out of every importer or exporter is from Anambra. “We also know that one out of every five successful businessman or woman is from Anambra. “Can you imagine the magnitude of that investment if we can just channel just 10 percent of that home? “We would create massive employment, we would create massive mentorship for the young ones and we would have a society that will be the envy of all. “So my advocacy is to encourage all Anambarians, all South Easterners to think backwards (home) on their investments. “I am not saying uproot your industries, I am saying start divesting and think homewards so that our people can feel your impact and so that our people can grow. “It is only by doing that that you can in all conscience say that you are a wealthy man because it is only by doing that that you can say yes I am an Igbo man and I have made it. “In my book you haven’t made it if you haven’t invested what you have invested outside in your community. Any wealth that does not reach home is a lost wealth as far as I am concerned and it is a useless one. “There must be semblance of that in your state, we must help the state to grow, we must help our people to grow, we must share our prosperity, we must be involved in Aku Lue Uno concept,” she said. She admonished South Easters not to only show their wealth by building mansions or showing off when they organise or are invited to events. Speaking on profitability Oduah said that investing in the region would also be profitable, adding that there is an enabling environment and access to markets. She argued that Anmabra State is safer than Lagos State, pointing out that the international airport in Enugu provides access to international markets. She added that the state is putting enabling environment for its people to come and invest, stressing that there are tax incentives in place to encourage investments. “Most importantly there is security: we have better security in Anambra than you have in Lagos. In Anambra you do not have violence like you have in Lagos. “We have lacuna on infrastructure; rail, airports and so on, but then the state is in joint venture to build the cargo airport. “Above all we have in Enugu, Enugu has an international market so you can export. The Federal Government needs to put inland container terminal in Onitsha so that importers can from Onitsha get their goods without having to go to Lagos or Port Harcourt. “When that happens we have access to international markets. You would be amazed at the number of vehicles that go to other African markets from Onitsha. “We are currently re-exporting in an informal market, that should be formalised. Alaba and other markets in Lagos are our people’s market. We should have a huge portion of that domesticated in Onitsha”.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will commence a forensic audit of Oando Plc on Wednesday, contrary to reports that the audit had been stopped following the suspension of the Director-General of the Commission, Mr Mounir Gwarzo. In a letter obtained by our correspondent on Tuesday in Abuja, SEC notified the Group Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Mr Adewale Tinubu, of its decision to conduct a forensic exercise into the activities of the company. The letter, which was signed by the Acting Director-General of SEC, Dr. Abdul Zubair, said the forensic auditors would be at the premises of Oando on Wednesday to undertake the audit. Zubair was appointed by the Federal Government on Thursday, November 30, 2017. The Letter titled, ‘Re: Forensic Audit into the Affairs of Oando Plc’, reads: “Further to our letter to you dated November 27, 2017 and another letter to your lawyers dated November 28, 2017, wherein the Commission had notified Oando Plc of its decision to go ahead with the Forensic Audit, the Commission in the light of recent development wishes to reiterate the following: ”1. That the Commission is aware, that Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1601/17: OANDO PLC V. SEC & ANOR was struck out on November 23, 2017 by his Lordship Hon. Justice Aikawa of the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court. “2. That the Commission is not aware of the existence of any valid or subsisting Order of Court restraining the Commission from proceeding with the Forensic Audit. “While we acknowledge that a Notice of Appeal has been filed to challenge the judgment of the Federal High Court, this notice does not serve as an Order of Court restraining the Commission from conducting the exercise. “We wish to restate that our Forensic Auditors had been directed to commence work since November 27, 2017 and as a result shall be at your premises on any date from Wednesday, December 6, 2017. “Kindly accord them the necessary assistance,” the letter stated. It will be recalled that following the recent suspension of the former Director-General of SEC, Mr Mounir Gwarzo, facts emerged that the DG was suspended for looking into the affairs of Tinubu, a close ally of the present administration.

A renowned company director, Dr. Mayor Nwachukwu of Godfy Towers Nigeria Limited has called for the proscription of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company in Abia State over its inability to supply power. Nwachukwu made the call in Aba recently while making a contribution during a one day mega seminar on “Electricity Consumers Rights and Obligations”organized by Joint Action Group and attended by professional bodies, labour union leaders, market leaders, youths, civil servants and artisans, where issues bothering on crazy and outrageous bills,illegal disconnection,intimidation by EEDC staff and absence of electricity in some parts of Aba, Abia State were discussed. Dr.Nwachukwu lamented that for over one year now, he has not had electricity in his residence yet receives and pays bill every month.He decried Nigerian Electricity and Regulatory Commission for not doing enough to enlighten the public on their rights as electricity consumers.According to him, the EEDC is just out to milk consumers as nothing has changed since it came into the Power industry.He said, “they occupy the same office as National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) the same office as Power Holding Company of Nigeria(PHCN) and now as EEDC” He suggested that electricity consumers in Aba should match and inform the government of the day about the sufferings consumers are passing through. He said the issue of non-provision of electricity supply, adversely affects the overall economy and production capacity of the state in general and Aba in particular. “What EEDC staff do in Aba is to make money for those in charge and allow the poor masses to suffer the consequences, but when we match to the government functionaries, we will tell them all their atrocities” he concluded. Earlier in his key note address,the secretary, Joint Action Group,Chief Ike Opigwe said the group is a non –profit advocacy body that provides an enabling environment for the education of electricity consumers on their right as guaranteed by the Electricity Power Sector Reform(EPSR) Act 2005 and National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) guideline,directive and methodology which include but not limited to the following: billing methodology,connection, disconnection procedure and rights to certified standard prepaid meter. Mr.Odu Obot,a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who represented Abia State Commissioner of Police, thanked the organizers of the seminar and said if all activities are handled this way;the police will have less job to do. He revealed that Abia State Police Command is tackling the problem of vandalization of electricity materials by creating Electricity Consumers Team to tackle all criminal activities against the provision of electricity in Abia state. Mr. Ezeocha Peter, National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Representative in charge of Ebonyi State, gave an overview of Electricity Sector Power Reform .He said the Commission (NERC) is empowered by the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005, to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply. According to him the Act mandates the Commission to ensure that electricity Operators recover costs on prudent investment and provide quality service to customers. In a lecture on “ Overview of Consumers’ Rights and Obligations” delivered by Comrade Anele Jacobs, he said “ it is pertinent that electricity customers know their rights which include that a new electricity connections must be done strictly based on metering before connection. That is, no new customer should be connected by a DisCo without a meter first being installed at the premises” According to him, consumers have the right to electricity supply in a safe and reliable manner; a properly installed and functional meter; a right to transparent electricity billing and also that all un-metered customers should be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology. He said consumers should be notified in writing ahead of disconnection of electricity service by the DisCo serving the customer in line with NERC’s guidelines; refund when over billed and to report the issue to the NERC Forum Office within the coverage area of the DisCo. Consumers have the right to appeal against the decision if not satisfied and any un-metered customer who is disputing his or her estimated bill has the right not to pay the disputed bill, but pay only the last undisputed bill as the contested bill go through the dispute resolution process of NERC. “It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles and related equipment used in the supply of electricity” he added .However, he said consumers are under obligation to pay bills for electricity consumed and provide requirements for connection as stipulated by NERC and DisCo. And also to ensure that meters and other electrical equipment within your premises belonging to the DisCo are not tampered with, or by-passed and consumers should notify the DisCo serving you of any tampering or bypass of electricity installations. In an exclusive chat with the Chairman, Abia State Civil Society Network (ASCON) Comrade Cassius Ukwugbe, he decried the crazy bills and epileptic electric supply in Aba that has touched everybody and said the messages should be taken to the appropriate authorities and solution proffered once and for all. According to him, high billings have continued to be a source of worry to many Electricity Consumers in Abia state. He called on the Federal Government to revisit its power privatization policy to check the exploitation of Nigerians by Power Distribution Companies. He said”Aba residents have made their feelings known in the area of over – estimated billings by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company and something should be done.. In his contribution, the Chairman Hotel Proprietors Association, Aba, Chief Godwin Egbuchulam, revealed that hotels will soon sack some of their staff due to high electricity billing in Aba. According to him the cost of running hotels has increased in recent time as a result of fast consumption rate of prepaid meter. A book on Rights and Obligations of Electricity Consumers authored by Chief Ike Opigwe and reviewed by Dr. Mike Iheukwumere was presented to participants. The book; a must read by all electricity consumers, was described by Dr. Iheukwumere as the ‘Bible’ of electricity consumption. The seminar had in attendance notable Nigerians including: the Chairman Joint Action Group-Dr. Mike Iheukwumere, DSP Odu Obot, who represented the Abia state Commissioner for Police, Secretary, Joint Action Group-Chief Ike Opigwe, National Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC) Ebonyi State Representative-Mr. Ezeocha Peter,Chairman, Hotel Proprietors Association-Chief Godwin Egbuchulam, Chairman, Abia State Civil Society Network-Comrade Cassius Ukwugbe,Comrade Anele Jacobs, Chairman, NASSI-Amb. Darlington Kalu, Manager, Hotel De L’s Paix-Mrs Celestina Asiegbu and others.

Labour leaders on Sunday expressed optimism that the Federal Government would give workers a living wage not minimum wage. President Muhammdu Buhari on Thursday approved the appointment of a 30-member tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee for the negotiation of a new National Minimum Wage. The labour leaders, who are members of the committee, spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos ahead of the committee inauguration scheduled for Monday in Abuja. The committee is made up of persons from the public sector (federal and state governments) and the private sector (members of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) Mr Ayuba Wabba, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) told NAN that“our expectation is that the demand of labour will be met. “We will discuss with open mind to ensure that we achieve our aims and objectives,’’ Wabba said. He said that the meeting with the tripartite committee would be a social dialogue and collective bargaining discussion. According to him, the inauguration is long overdue and effort would be made to fast track negotiations to ensure that workers and pensioners get their accrued benefits. He said that labour would discuss issues relating to rate of Naira because the present exchange rate had increased from the time N56,000 was being proposed by labour. Mr Peter Ozo-Eson, NLC General Secretary, also said that the committee would discuss many issues affecting the minimum wage and the way forward. According to Ozo-Eson, it is over two years since the organised labour proposed N56,000 as minimum wage to the government; and so will consider a number of socio-economic indices to take its action. He said that the organised labour was looking forward to the inauguration because the committee was made up of a tripartite group that would discuss issues affecting the Nigerian workers. “We look forward to the inauguration which I believe will discuss the facts and economic realities when it starts negotiation.’’ I found this interesting I didin't

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Monday uncovered 30 different banned and unregistered products worth millions of naira in Onitsha, Anambra, an official has said. Mrs Christiana Essenwa, a Deputy Director of NAFDAC, said this when she conducted newsmen round the uncompleted building where the contraband were discovered. She listed some of the banned products to include rice, vegetable oil, tomato paste, tomato ketchup and toilet and medicated soaps. The list includes, among others, dairy products, hand wash, creams, cosmetics, toothpaste, furniture, plastic products, electrical cables and textiles imported in a 40-foot container. Essenwa expressed concern that in spite of the Federal Government ban, some businessmen ignored the hazards the banned products pose to unsuspecting consumers. “These contraband items are written in foreign language; it is difficult for consumers to know the content of the products, making it hazardous for consumers in the country. “For instance, these foreign toothpastes contain saccharine which is not allowed in the country; the vegetable oils do not have the eye logo, signifying that they are fortified with vitamin A. “We are going to confiscate every item and get them ready for destruction,” Essenwa said. She said some of the seized products such as textiles, cables and plastics also required the involvement of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to certify the authenticity of the items. The deputy director said the discovery was made following a tip-off and urged the public to be circumspect before picking products on display in the market. “Check whether they have NAFDAC registration number; whether the labelling is alright, whether it was written in foreign language, manufacturing address and of course, the expiry date,” Essenwa said. Also speaking, an industrialist, Mr Steve Evans, the Manager of Evans Industries Limited, decried the importation of fake products into the country, describing the act as “economic sabotage”. Evans, urged the Federal Government to step up its surveillance on fake products being dumped in the country.

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN)’s unit (ASCSN-ECN Unit) has declared a 3-day warning strike. ASCSN-ECN Unit’s Chairman, Mr Promise Chukwu, who announced the strike on Tuesday in Abuja, said it was necessitated by ECN’s management failure to implement earlier agreements. Chukwu said that ECN’s management had also consistently disregarded directives from superior authorities. “Up tenth time, the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation issued clarification against the misleading and ignorant stand of ECN management on the `Non Research Institute’ status of the commission. “Up to this moment, the Prof. Eli Bala led management has continued to retain some staff who had passed the statutory retirement age of 60 or 35 years of service in ECN. “The questionable transfer of the ministerial supervision of ECN to Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) from the Presidency and Federal Ministry of Energy, then (Petroleum and Power) is worrisome. “The mandate of ECN is so peculiar that it can only be implemented with the condition and scheme of service that will address those needs; however 28 years after, the commission lacks comprehensive condition and scheme of service.’’ He said that the mandatory career progression training of staff had become a no go area as the management had turned blind eye to the skill gap and manpower of ECN. The chairman said that the implementation of earlier agreements with the management was the only pre-condition for ensuring industrial harmony in the commission. Chukwu listed some of the demands of the association in order to ensure stability in the commission: “Investigate all the financial transactions in ECN especially the one in ECN Project Account; the association is ready to assist EFCC with supporting documents. “Immediate reversal of controversial supervisory role of ECN from FMST to Presidency or at least, to one of the ministries where their function is directly related to energy such as Federal Ministry of Petroleum. “Immediate reconstitution of the committee on conditions and scheme of service for ECN to address the peculiarity of the commission. “Immediate implementation of recommendations of the Managing Committee on skipping of CONRAISS 10 salary grade; that is abolition of the post of Senior Officer 1 and 11 cadre and review the promotion issues connected therewith. “Immediately release of promotion letters of staff that are due for promotion effective Jan. 1 and fast track promotion exercise of staff due for promotion effective Jan. 1, 2018.’’ He said. He added that the management should immediately constitute a committee to look into staff welfare and liaise with the National Salaries Income and Wages commission to secure energy sector standard remuneration for ECN. Chukwu called on President Muhammadu Buhari and relevant stakeholders to intervene and save the commission. According to him, the industrial disharmony will continue until Bala is relieved of his appointment by the president. Meanwhile, Bala did not pick several calls put across to him for his reaction neither did he respond to the test message sent to him as at the time of filing this report.

An economic expert, Charles Nwekeaku, has advised the Federal Government to follow due process in getting the forfeiture of monies in accounts without Bank Verification Numbers(BVN) to the government. Nwekeaku, an Associate Professor at the Nassarawa State University, Keffi, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja. The Federal Government recently instituted an action in a court for the forfeiture of any balance in bank accounts without BVN. An interim order of forfeiture was granted by the court on Oct. 17 for the various Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to show cause within 14 days why the balances in such accounts should not be forfeited. The current practice is that banks only permit deposits into such accounts without withdrawal. Therefore, if the Federal Government succeeds, the money is forfeited permanently. According to Nwekeaku, some Nigerians opened accounts before the introduction of BVN and may have travelled outside the country. “Some of these people may have one impediment or the other that has kept them away, so it will be unfair for government to just opt and request they forfeit their funds. “I think even if the government wants to do that, government should take due process; government should make diligent effort to inform the people accordingly. “Government should also find out the kind of agreement people had with their banks when they opened the accounts and if they were not initially informed about the BVN, they should be given sufficient time,’’ he said. Nwekeaku said any rash decision now by the government would be considered retroactive, in the sense that BVN wasn’t an issue when those accounts were opened. He said that government should make conscientious effort to ensure the people were informed about the implications of not doing the BVN registration before such rash actions were taken. “I know the BVN issue is over a year now but you will agree with me that there are some people who travelled out of Nigeria and haven’t come back since then. “There are also some who are hospitalised, they have been bed ridden for a long time, making them unable to do the BVN. So do you expect them to forfeit their funds? “So I think any rash decision now by the government will be considered as breaching the fundamental human rights of the people and that is not good for our democratic nation,” the don said. On the proposed Dangote Refinery, Nwekeaku said it was a welcome development as it would help in growing the country’s economy and increase its GDP. Nwekeaku said it was impressive that individuals in the country were thinking of going into the business of refining crude oil which was not the case in the past. He noted that the norm of exporting crude without adding any value to it had not helped the country as it had increased the rate of unemployment in the country. The don said that if refineries were built and were functional, it would add value chain and generate more employment for the youth in the country. Nwekeaku said,“ a number of people have got licences to build refineries but for one reason or the other they don’t want to do that, so for Dangote to have taken the move, it is a welcome development. “And we believe that if the refinery is put in place, it will generate much employment opportunities; it may equally reduce the cost of petroleum products in the country. “Also the unit price of petroleum certainly will reduce and I think it will go a long way to improve the economy. “Therefore, government should encourage more individuals to go into establishing private refineries and I believe when that is done, it will help to stimulate the economy.’’ (NAN)

President Muhammadu Buhari has given the directive that all the 36 state capitals should be connected with rail in the ongoing railway projects. The Minister of Transportation, Mr, Chibuike Amaechi, said on Thursday at the meeting with the Chairman Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Sen. Shehu Sani. The meeting also attended by the Ministers of Finance; Budget and National Planning; and Power, Works and Housing was in connection with President Buhari’s loan request of 5.5 billion dollars. Amaechi said that the central rail line project connecting several communities of northern and southern Nigeria would be completed in June, next year. According to him, 17 coaches are expected to arrive in November and out of the number, 10 will be deployed to Abuja-Kaduna rail line while the remaining seven will be deployed to the Itakpe-Warri rail line. Amaechi said that part of the money being requested now for approval by the senate was to execute the rail projects covering Kano-Kaduna, and Lagos-Ibadan networks. Sani had earlier advised if Nigeria “must borrow, it must borrow responsibly”. Sani said: “the committee has the mandate to examine the merits and otherwise of the current loan request of 5.5 billion dollars of the president. “If we must bequeath to the future generation a pile of debt, it must be justified with commensurate infrastructural proof of the value of the debt. “The payment plan of this debt will undoubtedly last the length of our lifetimes and possibly beyond. “We must leave behind a legacy that will appease and answer the questions the next generation of Nigerians will ask,” Sani said. Also providing insight into the loan request, the Director-General, Debt Management Office, Mrs Patience Oniha, explained that the loans have sustainable benefits that would live beyond the present generation of Nigerians. “What we should take away is that we are going into projects whose benefits don’t go away. “The roads don’t go away, the schools don’t go away, and the hospitals don’t go away but all that we need to do is to maintain them properly and that is the explanation I want to make on that,” she said..

Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Wednesday inaugurated N358 million urban expansion project at Mgbowo in Awgu Local Government Area of the state. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the State Executive Council approved the urban expansion project of the current administration in line with the campaign promise of the governor. The project is aimed at developing additional satellite towns with a view to decongesting human traffic in the capital city. Ugwuanyi, while inaugurating the project situated at the popular ‘Aki na Ukwa’ Junction on Enugu-Port Harcourt Highway, said when completed, the facility would be a befitting gateway into the capital city from Abia, Imo and Rivers States. He said that the area would be adorned by solar powered street and traffic lights, security posts and dual carriage ways. The governor said that it was his aspiration to open up more urban centres to further attract investments to the state. Ugwuanyi appealed to residents of the area to cooperate with the contractors as they delivered the project. The President-General of Mgbowo Town Union, Mr Tony Udinya said that the project would improve the aesthetics of the community and provide market for the vast agricultural produce from the area. Udinya said that residents of the area were appreciative of the goodwill of the governor to their people, adding that much still needed to be done to bring Mgbowo at par with its peers. “The major problem confronting this community is water. Hence, your intervention in this regard will be highly appreciated. “There is a damn project in Mgbowo that had been abandoned over the years,” he said. Udinya said that it was imperative for the state government to construct a link road to connect all the communities that were the direct beneficiaries of the project. “This project will not only serve Mgbowo, but the entire Awgu and Aninri Local Government Areas. The major constraint we have is the traditional link road that connects the area. “This is where our people and those from Aninri do their farming and the road is deplorable. It will ease the flow of agricultural produce to the market,” he said. Udinya said that the people of the area were thrilled by the move to urbanise the community, adding that they would show their unflinching appreciation in due time. NAN reports that the project has a completion period of six months.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday assured stakeholders from the South East that the region will benefit more from roads and coastal rail projects, which are of critical importance to the economy. During an audience with leaders from the region led by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, the President declared that the 2nd Niger Bridge, the East-West Road and the Coastal rail project, are receiving utmost attention from his administration. The President said counterpart funding from the Chinese government would substantially fund these projects, which when completed will improve the welfare, well-being and economy of the people in the region. “I know the Chinese are very competent in handling such projects and we will ensure that we get the money for the projects to take off. “I thank you for articulating your demands and I want to assure that we are doing our best for the country. If we can stop people from stealing, then there will be more resources to put into projects that will create employment for Nigerians,’’ the President said. Responding to allegations of under-representation of Igbos in his government, the President said: “ I gave south-east four substantive ministers in the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Science and Technology and Labour. “Seven states in the North got Ministers of State and of the two Ministries headed by your sons, I cannot take any decision on foreign policy and investments without their input,’’ he said. The President also promised the leaders, comprising governors and ministers from the region, the President of Ohaneze, Chief Nnia Nwodo and representatives from the National Assembly, that he will visit states in the zone soon. “I want to assure you that I came into government with a clear conscience and I will also leave with a clear conscience,’’ he said. Earlier, the President of Ohaneze, while articulating the demands of the zone to the President highlighted the issue of state creation, restructuring, federal projects in the South East namely Enugu-Onitsha road, Enugu-Port Harcourt road and Aba-Ikot-Ekpene road, among others. Nwodo also demanded urgent presidential interventions on the Enugu Airport, reticulation of the gas-pipelines in the South East and the standard gauge plan for railway construction. Commending the President’s remarkable achievements on security and the fight against corruption, Nwodo declared: “we are ready to work with you. We are determined to work with you. We know you are a decisive leader and we know God will continue to give you the wisdom to govern Nigeria.’’ Also speaking, Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State expressed satisfaction on the outcome of their discussions with the President on critical issues and topics affecting the region. “You have no hatred for any state. You have treated all states with equality. What one state gets in the north, the other gets in the south,’’ the governor said, referring to budget support facility and stabilisation fund released to states and local governments since the inception of the administration.

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