How the Southwest can achieve accelerated economic development – Yoruba groups

Southwestern states must learn to function as a single economic market if they are to achieve accelerated economic development, as in the days of the former western region.

They need to synergize to design and implement priority interventions in key sectors such as agriculture, ICT, transport, electricity, solid minerals and tourism in order to contribute to skills development and job creation, in particular among young people in the South West.

Representatives of various interest groups made the call during a dialogue session organized by the Majeobaje movement on the theme “Western Nigeria and sustainable development: the imperative of regional integration”, held in Ibadan.
Keynote speakers and participants underlined that regional economic integration will help maximize the multiplier effects of government and private sector investments, increase efficiency, boost industrial capacity (including through import substitution and integration upstream), to allow greater coherence in the development of social infrastructure and to deepen the tax base.

Denouncing the retrograde economic development which had a negative impact on young people, leading to an increase in crime and drug abuse, various speakers identified the institutionalization of regional economic integration in the old western region as a solution to new upheavals.

Among the groups that participated in the dialogue were the DAWN Commission, the Yoruba Council of Elders, Agbekoya Peace Movement, Yoruba Youth Council, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Oodua Peoples Congress, Yoruba National Assembly, Igangan Development Advocates, Yoruba National Assembly, Karoojire Initiative , Agbeloba Ile Odua, Odua Nationalist Coalition and Odua Redemption.

Emphasizing in particular the historical, cultural and linguistic similarity of the former western region, dialogue participants urged politicians in the Southwest to make accelerated economic development of the geopolitical area their priority rather than partisan politics alone.

The communiqué issued at the end of the dialogue, signed by Akintayo Akin-Deko, Coordinator; Yomi Layinka, team leader (media), particularly urged the Southwest to have an agenda to make the southwestern states their first choice for living, working and recharging.

In order to build on the lessons of the past and ensure effective harmonization and coordination of Western Nigeria’s existing integration frameworks, policies and strategies, the dialogue urged the governors of the South West to empower the DAWN Commission to work with their governments and other institutions.

Participants expressed dismay at the low commitment of sponsors and stakeholders in general to DAWN.
While acknowledging the leadership work that had been undertaken to date by the DAWN Commission, the dialogue urged redoubled efforts to urgently narrow the gaping gap between comparative projections of the implementation of the commission and the reality on the ground, after ten years of existence.

The dialogue questioned why the governors’ lethargy towards the DAWN Agenda despite the rigor and foresight of the drafters of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) in 2011, and its refinement in the One Bloc plan in 2016 .

Among other things, the dialogue noted that the One Bloc plan provided for the need for a security network for western Nigeria and epidemic control.

Further, the dialogue reiterated that the best way to maintain unity in a culturally diverse society and politics like Nigeria is to organize the economy on the basis of a true system of federal government.

Speakers added that the sustainable development of the economy cannot be effective if power and resources are too concentrated in the central government.


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How the Southwest can achieve accelerated economic development – Yoruba groups

How the Southwest can achieve accelerated economic development – Yoruba groups

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