Enugu — Governors of the five South-east states rose from a meeting in Enugu yesterday with a pledge to find a lasting solution to the problem of power supply in the zone in order to kick-start the economy of the area.
The governors also constituted an economic team saddled with the responsibility of driving the zone's economic integration plan. Members of the economic team which would be inaugurated on June 4, 2017 are drawn from the five states in the zone.
Prominent members of the committee include former Minister of Power, Prof Bart Nnaji and a former Economic Adviser to the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Prof Osita Ogbu, among others.
The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, who addressed journalists at the end of their meeting in Enugu yesterday, said the forum has opened discussion with experts in the power sector.
The governors have also interacted with the Geometrics Power Limited, Aba, as well as slated a future date with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to know the challenges of the company and how to help them.
The meeting which had in attendance Governors of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Abia, Okezie Ikpeazu, Anambra, Willie Obiano and the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, said power was vital to the economic development of the zone, stressing that something urgent must be done to tackle the epileptic supplies in the zone.
"We have invited the team of Geometrics. You know geometries set up power plant in Aba and we want to know the reasons why these things have not been injected into our system and that injection will help the entire South-east. It can power the entire southeast and with further assistance in the area of cement, our commerce and railway.
"We have invited the team to come and discuss with us. We have also discussed with the EEDC and in due course we are going to interact with the team to find out their challenges and find out the way we are going to improve distribution in the southeast," he said.
Umahi said the meeting effectively about the economic agenda for the South-east including the economic integration of the states and certain other projects in the zone like the railway and seaports, stressing necessary step forward had been taken to ensure that the matter was handled by the economic team of the forum.
"We also interfaced with the bank of agriculture, the bank of agriculture is very important to the agric programme of the South-east, they gave us some few briefing and we ask them to put down their capacities and programme and give to each of our state governors, and state what and what we can benefit from them.
"But what is important is that the anchor borrower's scheme of the central bank is being handled by them. So we want to get the much we can get from them. They are not happy that the funds to the southeast is not the way it is supposed to be and they are very happy with the governors for this initiative and that through the governors we will be able to get our share of the agric funds," he added.
He said each state had nominated two representatives to the economic team of the forum and that they would be inaugurated on the 4th of next month.