Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that the South East and South South regions are Nigeria’s most marginalized regions politically and economically.
According to the governor, none of the seaports and airports in the two zones are functionally well, or linked by rail service, while their roads are in bad shape.
Wike who made the claim at the meeting of state governors of the two zones in Port Harcourt, said both geo-political zones need to share resources and intelligence, while denying sanctuary to criminals.
He said, “Even in contemporary Nigeria, we still share the same or similar challenges, including insecurity, poverty and under-development despite the best of efforts by the constituent State governments.
“Today, the two regions are the most politically and economically marginalized within the nation, environmentally degraded and deliberated neglected by the federal government in appointments and provisions of basic development infrastructures.
“From geo-strategic economic perspective therefore, there is an urgent need to establish and link our cities with railways and super highways; to provide viable and affordable flight services between our cities, and to ensure that cargoes are brought into the country and the regions through our seaports, jetties and ferry services as a veritable means of stimulating economic growth and social progress across our two regions.
“Also, we are all aware that economic growth and social progress are possible only in a peaceful and secure environment. And much as we try to tackle this menace in our respective States by providing the necessary logistic support to the security agencies, perceptions of insecurity are on the rise, doing significant damage to our investment climate thereby preventing reasonable inflow of direct foreign and local investment into the regions.”
The meeting was attended by governors of Enugu, Delta, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo, Rivers as well as deputy governors of Bayelsa, Edo, Cross River and Anambra states.
The next meeting of the South East and South Governors Forum will hold in Owerri, the Imo State capital, in October.