As the clamour for restructuring continues to gain momentum, an industrialist and former President of the Owerri Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agricultural (OCCIMA), Mr Frank Nneji, has declared that Imo State is not economically ready for a restructured Nigeria.
He gave this verdict at the grand finale of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Imo State Council Press Week at the weekend which has the theme, “Clamour for Restructuring Nigeria: major Concerns and the Media.”
Nneji spoke on the assumption that a restructured Nigeria meant that states would henceforth be self-sustaining.
According to him, with a per capita income of N1,059 and ranking 22nd in the World Bank sustainability index, Imo State is not among those that are likely to enjoy a restructured Nigeria.
The industrialist, who was the chairman of the occasion and an award recipient of the NUJ, lamented that news about Imo is not cheering when ease of doing business is considered just as the World Bank has rated it 34th among the 36 states of the federation in this area.
Nneji, the proprietor of the popular ABC Transport, a member of the Rapido Group, however, hinted that the situation could change if leaders and the people of the state were ready to change their ways and thinking and exploit its vast potentials in manpower and tourism, stating that it has a GDP almost at par with Lagos.
He reminded the people that the state had not made good use of its location which is central to South East and South South states.
The Rapido Group chairman called on the leaders to transform the state into a technology hub of Nigeria, using the growing number of professionals it has, while also encouraging inflow of capital from the diaspora.
He advised journalists to always give exposure and encouragement to organisations that create jobs.
Those who got awards at the occasion also included Dr. Jude Ohanele, Dr. M.N.O. Ibe a renowned neurologist, Hon. Mike Iheanetu, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, among others.