Governors in the South-West geopolitical zone on Monday held the South-West Economic Summit at the Oyo State Governor’s office in Ibadan, where they all agreed to play common politics of development to aid economic growth and development in the zone.
The governors present at the meeting were the host Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Rotimi Adelola.
The meeting, which had the theme, ‘South-West Governors Economic Forum,’ was convened by Ajimobi.
Speaking on behalf of the governors at the end of the forum, Fayose said that the meeting was called to discuss several issues of common concerns to the geopolitical zone in view of the challenging economic circumstances confronting the nation and its constituent parts.
He said the governors had agreed to start playing politics of development, go beyond their political differences and put the Yoruba people first in their endeavour.
Fayose added that the forum also agreed to use the collaboration to improve on infrastructure, security, commerce and other areas in the interest of the geopolitical zone. He said that all the governors had agreed that regional integration was the best way forward for the Yoruba race.
Fayose said, “This meeting was called to discuss several issues of common concern to the geopolitical zone in view of the challenging economic circumstances confronting the nation and the people.
“We have agreed to start playing politics of development by going beyond our political differences and putting our people and the geopolitical zone first in all things. We also agreed to use this collaboration to improve on the infrastructure, security, commerce and beyond in the interest of the region.”
Also speaking after the meeting, Ambode emphasised the governors’ decision to put political differences apart for the interest of regional growth and welfare of the people.
“We have declared here that irrespective of our political differences, our people must come first. Overall, we must move our people in the direction of prosperity. The prosperity of the region is in the best interest of the states. It is more about the people and not about politics,” said the Lagos governor.
Ajimobi said the commitment and presence of the governors were testimonies to the importance they had placed on the common challenges and problems confronting the people of the region.
Recounting the present economic predicament that had befallen the country and its effect on state governments’ inability to pay workers salaries among others, the governor noted that the region with all its potential and resources had no business with underdevelopment, poverty and low quality of life.
The next edition of the forum will be hosted by Ekiti State in 2017, where the governors are expected to review development in the South-West since the last meeting.