Feature: Nigeria should Build Regional Economic Hubs


By Ayo Akinfe


With attention turning to gubernatorial elections, I would like to think that Tinubu is working on plans to get governors to build regional economic hubs maybe starting off with this one in the southwest which I have named the Awolowo Proclamation

[1] The Southwest Governors Forum shall provide loans with interest rates of no more than 5% interest to anyone wishing to delve into agriculture. Such loans will be tailored towards buying hybrid seedlings, pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers and farming equipment like tractors, water tanks, silos and barns

[2] The Southwest Governors Forum will make land available to everyone interested in venturing into agriculture. This policy is to ensure that farms are a minimum of five acres, so farmers can benefit from economies of scale. Farmers will be encouraged to pool their resources together and form cooperatives to enhance unit-per-head output and make the best use of machinery possible

[3] The Southwest Governors Forum will build a freight railway network linking six states so that farm produce is easily transported within the geo-political zone

[4] As from 2024, the Southwest Governors Forum is banning the export of all primary products from the geo-political zone. From January 1 2024, every agricultural product, solid mineral or primary commodity must be processed with at least 50% value added before it is exported

[5] All 137 local governments within the six states of the geo-political zone will be given full autonomy. Governors will not touch a penny of their allocation and will be writing to the finance minister to pay local government chairmen directly

[6] Also, the Southwest Governors Forum will be writing to the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections in all local government areas within the six states directly. From henceforth, no state government shall be involved in local government polls

[7] Amotekun Corps will metamorphosise into a regional police force but to avoid it being used by governors as a private army of political thugs, at least four of the six governors in the region and one governor from each of the other five geo-political zones must sanction the deployment of men for major operations

[8] The Southwest Governors Forum shall be constructing at least three major sea ports along the coastline between Lagos and Ondo States to relieve the pressure on Apapa. They will be at Badagry, Lekki and Ayetoro in Ondo State

[9] The Southwest Governors Forum is proposing a resource control formula that involves states keeping 50% of their revenue, 15% going into the Sovereign Wealth Fund, 20% going into the federation account and 15% going into a geo-political zone fund

[10] By 2030, the Southwest Governors Forum aims to have zero illiteracy, have at least one general hospital in every local government area, have every state totally self-reliant, have 70% of the roads in their states tarred, ensure each state at least generates the power it consumes and have full employment


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