South West Governors float regional export initiative

Sekinat Salam-Opebiyi, Ogun & Eniola Ajayi, Lagos

South West Governors have approved the establishment of Western Nigeria Export Development Initiative to drive the export potentials of the region.

The Governors met in Abeokuta, Ogun State; where they expressed their resolve to forge ahead with the regional integration plan, especially in key sectors such as agriculture, security, economy, among others, in the overall interest of the Yoruba race.

The Governors comprise of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Rauf Aregbesola from Osun State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State; others are Rotimi Akeredolu and Ayodele Fayose from Ondo and Ekiti  States respectively.

At the end of the meeting with the theme: “Economic Self-Determination for Western Nigeria: The Export Alternative,” Governor Amosun said that in order to improve the food security of the region, the Governors through the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, (DAWN), had decided to convene a regional Agric Summit in Ibadan.

“The Governors also directed that there should be synergy between DAWN Commission, the regional Oodua Group of companies and other critical stakeholders for a framework to drive the commercial and industrialization competitiveness of the region, while a Committee is to be set up to advance values and ethos as instrument of Yoruba uniqueness to strengthen the region’s identity and unity of purpose,” he added. 

Joint task force

According to him, the Governors approved the setting up of a Joint Task Force and action, to contain all forms of security threat in the region to guarantee safety of lives, property and prosperity of the people as they also declared zero tolerance for crimes in the region henceforth.

“They also resolved to harness the “competitive advantage of all the States in the region for sustainable regional development,” while DAWN is to develop a revenue optimization strategy for States in the region, Governor Amosun highlighted.

The host Governor affirmed that artificial boundaries such as religion and political affiliation would no longer constitute barrier to the region’s development.

“We have directed the DAWN Commission to develop a 25-year Western Nigeria Development Master Plan, while all the States in the region were encouraged to significantly improve bi-lateral and multi-lateral cooperation to foster regional development,” Governor Amosun said.

Economic integration

While lending his voice, Governor Ambode maintained that the attendance of all State Governors in the region was a clear manifestation of commitment to the economic and political integration of Nigeria’s South-west.

He noted that the success of the integration initiative would not only be of immense benefit to the region, but would go a long way to actualize the growth and development of the country.

“I believe strongly that it is also imperative that the economic integration and political integration of our region is significant to the growth and development of Nigeria and we are happy to be in Ogun State,” Governor Ambode said.