The Chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Ltd, Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah, has admonished the people of the South East geopolitical zone to remain in Nigeria because it is “highly unfavourable” be an independent state.
Ubah also said that the future of the South East remains bright in Nigeria because it has the potential to becoming the economic nerve centre of the country, just the way Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are to China.
The business mogul, who is also the Publisher of The AUTHORITY Newspapers, said that he was canvassing the position after “following discussions on this noble forum and in a bid to contribute my own quota to the discourse, my position on whether or not to remain in Nigeria, is for the South East to stick with Nigeria.
“My reasons are simple – the South-East is particularly not ready for such a move as we are infrastructurally and industrially deficient.”
According to Ubah, the prospect of the South East leaving Nigeria is “highly unfavourable. First, the South East lacks the essential and requisite agricultural deposits to sustain herself.
“While harbouring the thoughts of self-determination, there is urgent need for an agricultural revolution through progressive policies within the South Eastern states.
“The South East needs to exploit areas where she already possesses comparative advantage in agriculture and promote policies that will enhance her productivity and trade.
“Second, industrialisation is key to whatever the South East intends to achieve and stand for. We saw BRIC+S countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China +South Africa) attain their projected economic giant status at the end of 20th Century. Today, all eyes are on the new projected MINT Countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey).
“MINT is projected to emerge as the new global economic giants in this 21st Century after the emergence of BRIC+S and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the South East needs to be to Nigeria what Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are to China before thinking of separation from Nigeria,” he said.
Ubah further suggested that Ndigbo should strive to make the South East a health tourism hub for Nigeria and West Africa by extension, stressing that there is need to redirect the massive revenue currently being enjoyed by these Indian and American hospitals to the South East.
He asserted that overall, the Indian healthcare market is worth around $100 billion and is expected to grow to $280 billion by 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 22.9%.
“Is this not strategic enough for the South East to tap into as a means to creating value before harbouring thoughts of self-determination?
“Finally, it is pertinent to note that this revolution must be driven by state chief executives,” Ubah stressed.
Ubah therefore charged the South East state governors to lead the campaign to actualising the ideas put up by him, declaring that “it’s high time we stopped our dependence on federal allocations which merely serves to pay civil servants.
“There is urgent need to look at securing partnerships with our brothers and sisters in the diaspora as well as the international community. However, all these can only be achieved if there is transparency, accountability and the requisite zeal to pursue this cause within the confines of those who possess the mantle of leadership in the South Eastern states, as such qualities will consequently breed confidence in the minds of potential investors.”