By Charles Igwe
Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, has unveiled ambitious plans that could reshape the landscape of Southeast Nigeria. In a recent interview, Chief Iwuanyanwu revealed that efforts are underway to establish a sea port in the region, in addition to the creation of new cities.
Highlighting the pivotal role of trade and commerce in the Southeast, Chief Iwuanyanwu stressed that the region deserves a functional sea port to accommodate its substantial investment and engagement in these sectors. Expressing optimism, he stated that the ongoing discussions with relevant stakeholders are poised for success.
Chief Iwuanyanwu’s vision extends beyond infrastructural developments. He envisions a Southeast that is both attractive and prosperous, where the younger generation can take pride in their homeland. He acknowledged the frustrations among Igbo youths and emphasized Ohaneze’s commitment to creating an environment that restores their hope.
Appealing to Igbo youths, Chief Iwuanyanwu encouraged them to maintain their entrepreneurial spirit, which has allowed them to endure even in challenging circumstances. He conveyed the organization’s mission to ensure a promising future for the younger generation, solidifying a legacy that they can be proud of.
Focusing on industrialization, Chief Iwuanyanwu underscored the importance of the Nkalagu cement industry. He revealed that a committee, which he had previously inaugurated, has made significant progress, suggesting that the dormant cement industry might be revived by the end of the year. With ample limestone resources, the Southeast has the potential to supply cement across Africa.
Addressing the lack of functional oil refineries and gas industries in the Southeast, despite the region’s significant oil deposits, Chief Iwuanyanwu expressed the need for these resources to be harnessed to provide employment opportunities for the youth.
The agriculture sector is also set to witness a revolution, akin to the initiative led by Dr. Michael Okpara, the late Premier of Eastern Region. Chief Iwuanyanwu emphasized the potential of agriculture to reduce dependence on oil, envisioning a future where Southeast Nigeria becomes a beacon of agricultural innovation.
Lastly, Chief Iwuanyanwu unveiled Ohaneze’s plans to revive and export Igbo culture, making it a key export product for Nigeria. A committee, led by HRM Igwe Alfred Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, has been inaugurated to facilitate this cultural resurgence.
Chief Iwuanyanwu’s vision encompasses a Southeast that is economically vibrant, culturally rich, and socially empowered. As these plans materialize, the region’s potential for growth and prosperity appears boundless, promising a brighter future for its people.