Posted by From Chinedu Eze in Abakaliki on
Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, yesterday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, said the poor presence of the people of the South-east in the real sectors of the nation's economy was one of the reasons why the rest of Nigerians had qualified respect for Ndigbo.
Senate President, Chief Ken Nnamani, yesterday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, said the poor presence of the people of the South-east in the real sectors
of the nation's economy was one of the reasons why the rest of Nigerians had qualified respect for Ndigbo.
Speaking at the opening session of South East Stakeholders Summit which was held in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital yesterday, Nnamani said that the Igbos have lost their grip in the political foothold of Nigeria and they were now losing their dominance in the marketing sector of the nation’s economy due to lack of unity of purpose.
“You cannot talk about economic growth without having footprint in the banking industry. The South West has eight banks among the recapitalized banks; the South South has four banks that have recapitalized, while Bank of the North has been recapitalized by the Northern governors. They are establishing Islamic Bank and will receive a waiver from CBN,” the Senate President said.
Nnamani who said that the objective of the meeting was for the
Igbo leaders to deliberate on their unity and economic empowerment in Nigeria, regretted that out of 18 banks that have recapitalized in the country and which has been approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) non is predominantly owned by the Igbos.
The Senate President frowned at the lack of agreement among the South East governors whom he said were yet to come together to fight for the cause of Igbos in spite of the fact that the zone have the least number of states in the federation.
He disclosed that the governors of northern states met and agreed to recapitalize the Bank of the North, which has met the criteria of CBN, remarking that the governors went further to establish another bank called Islamic Bank and were able to secure for the bank, CBN’s waiver that would free it from raising N25 billion capitalization fund.
He said that the South East governors can recapitalize a bank that has predominantly Igbo interest, noting that for the Igbos to make themselves relevant in Nigeria they have to be united and create opportunity for regular meetings, saying that without such meetings where stakeholders would articulate ideas and unanimously agree on them, the zone cannot make progress.
In an address, the host governor, Dr Sam Egwu, said that the summit would provide Igbos a veritable platform for communal re-union “to rub minds on contending issues that affect us as a people at this critical juncture in the nation’s socio-political evolution.”
Egwu regretted that the Igbos have not been fully integrated into the mainstream of Nigeria’s socio-political calculation, saying that it is the duty of the leaders of the zone to zealously and relentlessly pursue a corporate agenda of Igbo demarginalization within the context of the Nigeria Federation.
He reiterated the call for Nigeria’s president from Igbo extraction in 2007, remarking that apart from the fact that the principles of equity and natural justice support this cause, the fruition of the aspiration would go along way in strengthening the ideals of political accommodation and national unity within a six-zone rotational framework.
“I invite all of us to be steadfast in the struggle to enthrone a society where merit and social justice hold sway. That is why our aspiration to produce a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction in 2007 must be sustained and impassioned. Apart from the fact that the principles of equity and natural justice support this cause, I also believe that the fruition of this aspiration will go a long way in strengthening the ideals of political accommodation and national unity within a six-zone rotational framework,” Egwu said.
He also called for all Igbos to support and continue to partner with President Olusegun Obasanjo in his efforts to further the frontiers of structural reforms and national stability.
The summit was attended by top Igbo politicians and business magnets including Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyan-wu, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Professor Joe Irukwu, the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo and many others who thronged the Women Development Centre, the venue where Ebonyi state welcomed the Senate President before reconvening at the banquet hall of the Governor’s Lodge, where the summit took place.
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