The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Nnia Nwodo, on Wednesday inaugurated a 54-member Steering Committee for the Alaigbo (Igbo land) Stabilisation Fund.
Inaugurating the Committee in a virtual meeting with the members in Enugu, Nwodo said that the fund was envisioned as a key instrument to articulate strategies, mobilise resources and coordinate policies for Igbo land.
According to him, the fund when operational will assuage the deep yearnings of Igbo people for a prosperous, developed and happy homeland.
Nwodo said that the South-East Governors Forum, the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and indeed the entire Igbo nation had resolved to urgently address the current infrastructural deficit and developmental gap in the zone.
He said, “The lack of much needed development in the region was occasioned by the total neglect of the area by the Federal Government since after the civil war.
“The fund will help build a home land that is industrialised with modern world-class physical and social infrastructure, competitive, attractive for investments and generate employment for the teeming youthful population.’’
The President-General said that to achieve the aim, Ndigbo needed a new and creative funding mechanism with Alaigbo Stabilisation Fund as its cornerstone.
He said that terms of reference include: “The committee shall make recommendations for the establishment, institutional governance and development, structure and organisation, funding and sustainability of the fund.
“The committee will ensure it operates on sound legal organisational and financial principles including making good returns on investments as well as to fulfill the social and developmental needs of Igbo land.’’
Nwodo, however, charged the committee to carry out their assignment assiduously so that the benefit of the fund would spread throughout the seven Igbo speaking states.
“He said the benefits should “even percolate to other neighbouring states so that our kith and kin in those states would also benefit from the scheme”.
He thanked the members of the committee for volunteering to serve in the all-important body.
He also thanked the Prof. Chukwuma Soludo-led Ohanaeze Planning and Strategy Committee whose behind-the-scene advice evolved into the setting up of the Fund.
Responding, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Fund, Prof. Osita Ogbu, commended the selfless service, visionary leadership and clarity of expression of Nwodo.
Ogbu said that Nwodo, working with the support of the governors, had made his regime intelligent, purposeful and exemplary, worthy of emulation and have a place in history.
He pledged that the enthusiasm shown by the members of the committee would ensure that they came out with far reaching positive conclusions.
The committee is expected to submit its report soon. (NAN)