By Obas Esiedesa
The South East Region Economic Development Corporation (SEREDEC) is targeting investments in rail and gas pipeline projects as part of effort to improve infrastructure in the South East region of Nigeria.
The projects which would be private sector driven are expected to cut across the five states of the region.
The Chairman of SEREDEC, Professor Barth Nnaji told journalists in Abuja that the group is focusing on projects that are difficult for individual state government in the region to execute.
To this end, SEREDEC is to hold its 2018 economic summit in Enugu on the 11th and 12th of December. The summit will focus on the ease of doing business in the region.
Nnaji disclosed that the summit will have in attendance captains of industries and leaders of the region. He pointed out the group was working with the South East Governors Forum on the projects.
He explained that SEREDEC was “set up by the people of the South East to work on a variety of projects that are really difficult for state governments to achieve but it is intended that this organisation supports the state governments in achieving the projects.
“If they want to build certain infrastructure, the organisation could drive it with the support governments of the region. We think it is a good model for development in the nation and one of the things the organisation does on annual basis is to do a summit to look at economic activities within the region to see how to improve vibrancy there”.
The former Minister of Power further explained: “This year’s summit, we will look at the ease of doing business, and this is very important because many countries in Africa are looking at ways to attract investors into their countries. We in Nigeria have to do something, state governments have roles to play as well as the private sector.
“We will look at status of infrastructure development ranging from railway, gas pipelines, and health care development institutions at the summit”.
On his part, the Secretary of SEREDEC Board of Directors, Prof. Onyi Nwagbara said the group “is to facilitate projects and source for funds for them. Thus far, we have projects we are trying to concentrate on. For example, we have gas lines and power, and hospitals. They are all private sector driven and we help facilitate for example the Right of Way and each state governments will be involved in that”.
Also speaking, a member of the group, Regina Amadi-Njoku said the projects would create jobs and wealth for communities that would host the projects.
“Anywhere projects such as roads and railways passes, host communities will be part of the process. It is going to be about PPP. They become the gatekeepers of infrastructure that passes through their neighborhoods” she added.