S/East makes progress on self-development, rail network

South East Region Economic Development Company, SEREDEC, has announced progress in efforts of the region to develop infrastructure and social services using private sector initiative.

In its three years progress report at that the 4th South East Economic Summit in Enugu on Thursday, SEREDEC itemized its achievements to include take-off of Enyimba Industrial city, South East rail network, Eastern medical resort hospital, South East Gas pipeline, among others.

SEREDEC under the chairmanship of former minister for power, Prof Barth Nnaji; stated that progress has continued on the Enyimba Industrial city at Aba, Abia state with the federal government formally licensing the project and a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, entered into with a Chinese Conglomerate.

SEREDEC stated that it has also signed an agreement for railway project with a team of CEOs of major UK infrastructure firm in collaboration with Nigeria based experts in rail development.

The proposed rail network is expected to take off from Onne to Aba; Aba to Onitsha through Owerri; Onitsha to Abakaliki via Awka and Enugu; Aba to Nsukka via Umuahia and Enugu.

On the Gas pipeline, SEREDEC disclosed that it has engaged a team of local and foreign based experts from South East to perform a pre-feasibility study of a looped gas pipeline network that connects all the South East states.

Chairman of the Summit and former MTN chairman, Dr. Paschal Dozie, asked for more re-enforced pool of resources to make South East economically more viable. Dozie urged political leaders in the region to cooperate and embark on common-interest projects.

“If you want to move fast, you move alone but when you want to get things done, you do it together,” Dozie said. Former Adviser to the Minister of Power and Team Leader, DFID – Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility, NIAF, Programme 3, Prof Chidi Onyia said that political leaders could look beyond election promises and move to something tangible that would better the zone.

“The issue has never been lacked ideas but for the policy makers to be honest to set up a financing process for the East.

“We should look beyond election promises.  If risk exposure is not too much, people will invest. We should move from political sound bite to real implementation,” Onyia suggested.

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