Strategy for Project Designs and Implementation
Many development models proposed for the South East (SE) rehabilitation are replete with well-thought out remedial actions and projects for accelerating SE development. However few models have identified and integrated the impact of two sets of interlinked challenges:
- Uphill task in rehabilitation of Igboland development and
- Structural divisive mindsets of the Igbos-that invariably sabotage attempts at forging a unified and sustainable approach in the rehabilitative development of the South East.
These challenges exacerbate the already difficult attraction of Federal government investments to the long forsaken South East, and obstruct garnering a united approach from the South East indigenes in development of their sub-region The Igbo land challenge can be more easily solved with a breakthrough agreement with the federal government, increased investment inflows and mobilization of legendary capacity of the Igbos, but the divisive mindsets of the Igbos are unfortunately the Achilles heel that impedes the mobilization of united front approach extremely crucial to achieving SE development objectives.
One of the South Eeast Economic and Security Summit’s unique contributions was to identify these two sets of interlinked challenges and agreed that they must be concomitantly addressed for successful rehabilitation of the South East. As a result, SEREDEC, the institutional outcome of the SEESS Summit, endeavors to adopt a common development paradigm for the Igbos proposed at the Summit that can help address the two sets of challenges simultaneously. The development paradigm offers a guiding principle of Igbo cultural values for mobilizing not only the physical and financial resources of the Igbos but more importantly for incentivizing their inclusive and united appropriation of development projects’ vision, mission; implementation and sustainability.
In light of this, all SEREDEC projects will be used to incorporate this guiding principle of Igbo development paradigm that takes into consideration:
- the importance of the Igbo culture of unity of purpose and action ingrained in Igbos’ philosophy of Solidarity (Onye Aghala Nwaneya);
- their traditional group-ship political governance that incorporates inputs from the women and the youth (Egbe Bere Ugo Bere), and
- their economic and entrepreneurial prowess (Onye Kpara Onye Kpara Udo Adi); that is built on traditional creative funding mechanisms, job creation skills through apprenticeship, provision of solidarity social security systems; and strategic partnerships among them and with others.
This guarantees all stakeholders some level of access to equitable distribution of economic and social dividends from development projects.
The strategy provides SEREDEC and South East stakeholders with requisite rationale and incentives to put the common good of the sub-region above individual consideration and ambition. It also strengthens the ability of project implementers to collectively and diplomatically partner with all stakeholders (local and foreign) in mobilizing resources.
Finally it imbues them with unity of purpose to strategically re-negotiate with the Federal government and States, on pari-pasu and win-win basis the rehabilitative and sustainable development in the South East as an important and integral part of the overall development of Nigeria.
By Regina Amadi-Njoku