South East Economic Development Plan: Citizens Driven.
This blue print is in direct response to the federal government’s neglect of the South East, and the inability of the five South East State Governments, to have a coordinated development plan of the region. Thus necessitating a citizens approach.
Think SE: Before embarking on any investment venture, first think about having it or part of it at the South East. “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”.(Proverbs 23:7). Having investment there means, you will be thinking about the region. The Holy Bible in Luke 12:34 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” therefore, if you have investments at the South East, your heart will also be there. Every investment starts with conception and thoughts, so factor in South East, all the time in your thinking.
Invest SE: Invest your capital, resources, skills etc at South East. The author is aware that not all businesses can be sited at this region, due to one reason or the other. However, think of creating that conducive atmosphere or consider investments, favourably with the business climate of South East. If you cannot invest 100% of your capital, then invest any amount that you can afford. Investing little is better than not investing at all.
Patronize SE: Buy made in South East goods and services. Look out for those excellent made in Aba shoes, sandals, cloths etc and buy them. Buy hero beer (if you’re a beer drinker). Eat Abakaliki rice. Find those Akaeze yams. Buy Nsukka pepper etc. Make it a habit to buy made in SE products.
Promote SE: It’s not enough to patronise made in South East goods and services, but encourage your families and friends to do same too. Tell them the reasons, why they should buy these products and services. Doing these, will help keep the manufacturers in business.
Bank SE: Save your money with the banks owned by South Easterners. Do business with these banks. Ask those banks to locate or relocate their head/regional headquarters to South East. Yes you have the power to make this happen. Drop suggestions to these banks. They will listen to you. Again, you don’t need to bank all your money in these banks, but put any amounts you can.
Church SE: Yes go to those churches owned by the South East preachers. Currently, there are 23,216 registered churches in Nigeria. Therefore, you should be able to find many like TREM, Lord’s Chosen, Salvation Ministry, OPM etc. Suggest to them to build their head quarters, schools, universities, hospitals etc at the South East.
Educate SE: Send your wards/children to study at schools located at the South East. Where there are no schools, consider to start one. Encourage your children to take up Igbo language as a subject. Read books written in Igbo language. Speak Igbo language to children at home. Those abroad, should send their kids to Igbo language centres.
Dress SE: Go and make all those beautiful Igbo dresses. Be proud of them. Do same to all your families and friends. Do you know that Ex President Rawlings and Ex President Obasanjo never wore another design, except their traditionally designed cloths.
Holiday SE: When next you want to go on vacation, look for either Oguta lake resort, Nike Lake, Ogbunike cave, Umuahia war museum, Ojukwu Bunker, Coal City etc. Visit these place rather than coming to abroad.
Media SE: Listen/watch radio and TV stations, TV programmes from South East. Watch Igbo programme on youtube. Read news prints from South East. Place all your adverts/commercials on SE owned media outfits. This is also not to say, you shouldn’t watch other channels, but make it a priority to watch SE radio/TV stations.
Builders SE: Use Igbo builders when building your houses at any part of the country.Health SE: Attend hospitals/health centres owned by SE health professionals. Attorney SE: for all your legal services, consult SE attorneys. Eat SE: Eat SE foods. Marry SE: Marry Igbo women and Igbo women should marry Igbo men. Sports SE: Be a fan of SE football club sides. Support other sports wo/men from SE.
Join Igbo Unions: Wherever you are, find an Igbo union/meeting and join them. Contribute your quota through them, for the development of SE. It is my believe that if the above is adhered to, then citizens can drive more developments to the South East than the government would do. Time for action is now.