Oil magnate and Billionaire Business man Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah has aired his views over the agitation for actualization of sovereign state of Biafra by some indigenes of the South-East geopolitical zone of the country.
Below are the views of Dr. Ubah as posted on a Whatsapp group by him:
“Having followed discussions on this noble forum and in a bid to contribute my own quota to the discourse, my position on whether or not to remain in Nigeria is for the South-East to stick with Nigeria. My reasons are simple - the South-East is particularly not ready for such a move as we are infrastructurally and industrially deficient. The prospects of such a move is highly unfavourable. Firstly, the South-East lacks the essential and requisite agricultural deposits to sustain herself. While harbouring the thoughts of self-determination, there is urgent need for an agricultural revolution through progressive policies within the South-Eastern states.
“The South-East needs to exploit areas where she already possesses comparative advantage in agriculture and promote policies that will enhance her productivity and trade. Secondly, industrialisation is key to whatever the South-East intends to achieve and stand for. We saw BRIC+S countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China +South Africa ) attain their projected economic giant status at the end of 20th century. Today, all eyes are on the new projected MINT Countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey). MINT is projected to emerge as the new global economic giants in this 21st century after the emergence of BRIC+S and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the South East needs to be to Nigeria what Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are to China before thinking of separation from Nigeria.
“Another approach would be to make the South-East a health tourism hub for Nigeria and West Africa by extension. There is need to redirect the massive revenue currently being enjoyed by these Indian and American hospitals to the South East. The overall Indian healthcare market is worth around $100billion and is expected to grow to $280 billion by 2020, a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 22.9%. Is this not strategic enough for the South East to tap into as a means to creating value before harbouring thoughts of self-determination?
“Finally, it is pertinent to note that this revolution must be driven by State Chief Executives. In essence, the State Governors are paramount to the actualization of these ideas. It's high time we stopped our dependence on federal allocation which merely serves to pay civil servants. There is urgent need to look at securing partnerships with our brothers and sisters in the diaspora as well as the international community. However, all these can only be achieved if there is transparency, accountability and the requisite zeal to pursue this cause within the confines of those who possess the mantle of leadership in the South-Eastern states as such qualities will consequently breed confidence in the minds of potential investors.
“Thank you, my brothers and sisters.
Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah