Participants at the maiden edition of the Isiala Ngwa South Economic Summit have commended the leadership of the LGA and the organizers of the Summit for coming up with such initiative which they described as a historic milestone in the affairs of Isiala Ngwa South. It would be recalled that on Saturday, June 12, 2021, at the exquisite Aba Sports Club, Isiala Ngwa South LGA broke the jinx by becoming the first LGA in Nigeria to host an economic summit.
In their various contributions during the discussion session of the Summit, participants unanimously lauded the vision of the Executive Chairman of Isiala Ngwa South LGA, Comrade Ike Anyatonwu and his team, for their commitment to laying solid foundations for the socio-economic progress of the LGA at present and in the future.
Earlier in his welcome address, Comrade Anyatonwu said that the idea of the Summit was inspired by the challenge thrown to Local Government Council Chairmen by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who, at the inception of their tenure, had charged them to think outside the box and devise innovative solutions to the socio-economic problems of their LGAs and the State. Comrade Anyatonwu noted that the Summit was not an end in itself, but was conceived as part of the means towards reinventing the economy of Isiala Ngw South in micro and macro-economic contexts.
Chairman of the Summit, Professor J.U. Ogbonna in his opening remarks thanked the leadership of Isiala Ngwa South LGA and Summit Organizing Committee for putting the event together. He harped on the need to ensure that recommendations of the Summit would be duly implemented.
In his keynote speech, Professor Godfrey Nji of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, expressed his delight that that a Local Government administration could think of an economic summit rather than channel resources to less productive ventures. Noting that the Summit signified hope, he criticized what he observed as an obvious drift from the norms and values for which the Ngwa nation has been known and respected, and challenged the leadership of Ngwa land at various levels to take urgent steps to arrest the drift and redirect the efforts of Ndi Ngwa towards a coordinated drive for collective self-empowerment.
In his lead presentation exploring the theme of the Summit, â€˜Discovering the Economic Potentials of Our Peopleâ€™, Dr. Obinnaya Uruakpa, renowned leadership development consultant and CEO of Abuja based Grand Renaissance International Limited, extensively interrogated the core issues of grassroots development in Nigeria, with particular emphasis on Isiala Ngwa South LGA, and recommended the production of a detailed economic blueprint that will streamline developmental activities, focusing on key areas in the LGA now and in the future.
From the panel of discussants, Dr. Chinatu Njoku, General Manager of the Abia State Community Development Project (CSDP), stressed on the need for the Local Government authorities to pursue functional partnerships with reputable national and international development organizations. On his part, Agro-investment expert and General Manager of the Abia State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Chief Israel Amanze called for concerted efforts to revamp agricultural investments at the grassroots, not just for subsistence but as sustainable business ventures. Still on agriculture, His Honour O. J. Bob Amanze specifically charged the LGC authorities to embark on large scale production of garden eggs, cucumber and cassava which are part of the basic cash crops that could help the LGA strengthen its comparative advantage in agriculture. He also harped on the need to harness the potentials of Umuikaa as a major economic hub in the LGA.
In his contribution, House of Representatives Member for Isiala Ngwa Federal Constituency, Hon. Darlington Nwokocha commended the initiative but insisted that the Summit would only be adjudged as successful in the long run if the sterling ideas canvassed are implemented and sustained. He assured of his commitment towards ensuring that the Summit scope is widened in its second edition, which should incorporate both LGAs that make up Isiala Ngwa Federal Constituency. The Administrative Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, Abia State, Chief Chijioke Akanwa, also assured of his support towards actualizing the gains of the Summit. Frontline philanthropist and founder of Each One Aid One Foundation, Engineer Enyinnaya Nwafor, applauded the Summit initiative and pledged to partner with the LGA to consolidate the benefits of the Summit. Similarly, Chief of Staff to the Governor of Abia State, Professor A.C.B. Agbazuere, in his goodwill message read on his behalf by the Special Adviser on Legal Matters, Barrister Chukwuemeka Eze, described the Summit as a giant step forwards and promised to assist in securing the support of the State government towards sustaining its benefits.
In his vote of thanks at the end of the Summit, Chairman of the Summit Organizing Committee, Sir P. C. Uzoaga, thanked the LGA Chairman, Comrade Ike Anyatonwu for giving him and team the challenging task of organizing the Summit. He appreciated all those who supported the Summit in various ways and invited all stakeholders to join in the process of rebuilding the Isiala Ngwa South economy. He assured that he and his Committee members would continue to assist the LGA Chairman in his bid towards addressing the dominant issues raised during the Summit, particularly that of implementation of Summit resolutions.
The Summit recorded broad based participation by leaders, resource persons and stakeholders of Isiala Ngwa South LGA.