A group, Igbo Professionals for Development and Empowerment Initiative (IPDEI) has urged Ndigbo all over the world to join hands in the building and development of the various communities, local governments and state in the south eastern part of the country.
Speaking at the maiden annual conference the president of IPDEI said that the conference will provoke healthy discussions with pragmatic suggestions, innovative ideas and strategies that will fast-track the making of Alaigbo the investment hub and economic excellence of the country and continent.
He described Igbo Professionals for Development and Empowerment Initiative as a child of circumstance conceived and borne to fulfill the pressing need of the time. “We have the ideas, plans and standard operating procedures for effective and efficient development of our place and strategic empowerment of our people. And our “annual conference” is one of the many ways through which to actualize our aims and objectives.
“As a group, we are out to complement not compete with or against any person or group of persons but rather we would work with any person, every group and organization that share similar vision and pursue common goals in civilized manners with the hope to secure a better future for ourselves and generations to come. To this end, we say a big “thank you” to everyone who in one way or the other has invested in Southeast – and to those who have not, now is the time for meaningful investment. Let’s eat the frog!
“The conference theme: “Indigenous Investments: Key to Economic Development and Empowerment of Southeast” is self explanatory and primarily chosen to re-emphasize and re-enforce the “Igbo Think Home Initiative” – an “Aku ruo ulo” drive knowing full well that no one can develop our place better than ourselves.
“It’s incontrovertible that we are ingenious and industrious and testimonies abound of our great exploits. In search of livelihood and in conquest of suppression, we can go to any length in any place. It has been affirmed and re-affirmed that we have the power to bring out water from the rock but the question is: what have we done with such “water” in Alaigbo? Are we good at developing other places at expense of our place? How can we continue to turn the waste of other lands into wealth while our homeland depreciates and rot away as result of absolute neglect by us? When will the “Igbo exodus from Igbo land” stop and how?
“Life’s what we make it. Beyond tenable and reasonable constraints and harsh realities it’s high time we decided to pay the price and get pearls from our pains. Let’s resolve to do things right and new. Let’s join hands and change our narrative for better. The bitter truth is that no one but us will and must develop our communities, local government areas and states – and to do this is one of the reasons you are an aborigine of that village. We have done great exploits locally and internationally but we have to do more at home and all hands must be on deck for this.
“The best time to plant a tree is now. Ositadimma anyi ekele Chukwu. The choice to build an economically buoyant zone of ourselves for ourselves is our collective responsibility. What we make of this choice today will say a lot about us tomorrow.
“Umu Ibe, wherever we are and whatever we do, strive for honest living. Work for a life not a living and invest fractions of your proceeds at home. This way the stereotyping and unhealthy profiling of our people, often based on envy, will stop.
“Like little drops of water that make a mighty ocean, start something, however, small in Alaigbo today and watch the ripple effects tomorrow. Replicate your business at home. The spirit of emulation is better than jealousy so nothing is wrong and as such can stop us, where inevitable, to copy and modify the business models and operations in other zones and countries that make such place viable and establish them here. Discover a need and fill it. One of the secrets of successful business is to provide solution to a major problem – do this and people will look for you even if you are in a dungeon in the remotest part of Alaigbo.
“However good a seed, if planted in the wrong environment, it will not grow and yield fruits. This is where our governments come into play. The minimum we require from the government along with her regulatory agencies is the provision of conducive environment for investment. Let there be functional basic amenities with adequate security for life and property. Let the red tapes and bureaucratic landmines against business operations in our land be removed. The good news is that if our government will be business friendly, hundreds and thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will spring up in every nook and cranny of our zone. This will create jobs and wealth for the people and increase the state’s internally generated revenues (IGRs).
“It’s a new dawn for a new era. A new Alaigbo is possible and is here with us. As concerned professionals, IPDEI has some SOPs for meaningful and impactful development and empowerment of our zone and is ready and willing to partner with any person, group or government on this.