A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo, Chief Athan Achonu, says that local content will propel rapid economic growth in the country.
Achonu, whose election to the Senate in 2015 for Imo North was invalidated by the court, seven months after, said this on Wednesday during an interaction with journalists in Owerri.
He blamed rising unemployment in Imo and the Southeast on the dearth of investment in the zone and urged prospective investors to think home.
He said the country is endowed with abundant human and material resources yet a robust economy had remained unachievable.
Achonu, who is an entrepreneur, said that his desire for a local content driven economy informed his decision to create a forum, called Akuruo-Ulo (meaning: think-home philosophy), which encourages local investments.
“The idea of Akuruoulo was borne out of a desire to develop local content, create employment at home and generate foreign exchange to boost the economy.
“You find Nigerians, especially Igbos, doing busineses in various parts of the world.
“There is a lot we can achieve if we harness our potential and put them to good use.
“We have labour, money, gas and other resources.
“We can harness the intelligence of internet fraudsters and convert them into IT professionals,” Achonu said.
He appealed to government at all levels to provide the enabling environment for busineses to thrive by providing necessary infrastructure and regulating taxation.
He called on investors to complement government’s efforts by investing at home, saying “home made business is the best business.
“Businessmen have gone into trading for lack of infrastructure and multiple taxation is crippling businesses.
“We must resist this economic quagmire by bringing our businesses home in line with the concept of Akuruoulo.
“I have complemented government’s efforts by building the biggest ranch in the southeast, a very large mall, a fish farm that houses 130,000 fishes, a piggery and a snail farm, all at home in my community here.
“I urge other investors to tow this path and together we shall build an economy that we can be proud of,” Achonu said.