Leading businessman, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, MFR, (Okeiyi Amichi), Chairman, Chisco Group, on Sunday, 5th June, 2022, played host to members of Umunna Lekki Association, an Igbo social, economic and cultural interest group, made up of Igbo elites, professionals and entrepreneurs residing along the Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Ajah corridor in Lagos.
The event which held at Villa Angelia, Ikoyi, Lagos had in attendance prominent Igbo sons and captains of industry.
In his welcome speech, Chief Anyaegbu commended members of Umunna Lekki Association, for coming together and setting up the association, saying that their activities will serve as a bridge in fostering the relationship between Ndigbo living along the Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Ajah corridor in Lagos, and their host communities.
“I decided to host members of Umunna Lekki Association because I am impressed with their activities, and the professional manner they have been conducting themselves. It gladdens my heart that even in distant lands, they are helping to propagate Igbo ideals such as respect, hard-work, unity and strong bond of brotherhood- Igwebuike”, Chief Anyaegbu said.
In his address, the president of Umunna Lekki Association, Dr. Ikem Ume-Ezeoke said the association is open to Igbo professionals, living or working in and around the Lekki, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, and Ajah axis in Lagos.
“Among other objectives, Umunna Lekki Association promotes Igbo culture and ideals. We use our platform for business networking. We are hoping to start a mentorship scheme soon that will benefit young Igbo entrepreneurs and professionals. We have in the past intervened in critical national issues affecting Ndigbo and will continue to do so. Already, we have events including seminars planned for 1st October, 2022, and also for December 2022. The corridor where we operate has lots of Igbo residents, professionals and entrepreneurs, so we hope that through our activities, we will become the rallying point for our people in these areas, while also helping to build and sustain mutual relationships between our people and our host communities”. Dr. Ume-Ezeoke said.
The guest speaker, Dr. Uche Nworah, in his presentation titled, ‘Akuluouno Model And The Social, Cultural And Economic Development Of Igboland’, canvassed for Ndigbo in the diaspora to increase the volume of their investments in the homeland, saying that if the homeland is not economically viable and attractive, unemployment will continue to increase, and such a situation helps fuel criminal activities such as armed robbery and kidnapping. In such a situation as presently being experienced in the South-East region, he said, everyone becomes vulnerable, and even Ndigbo in the diaspora will not be able to return home.
“Discussions around Akuluouno should also include bringing home human capital and professional skills to the South-East, not just business investments. There should be genuine efforts at reverse migration. The South-East region requires ‘booths on the ground’ in critical sectors”, Dr. Nworah said.
Continuing, Dr Nworah urged leaders of the South -East region to talk to each other, and meet more often towards solving insecurity and other challenges facing the region.
“Our leaders should do more in championing South-East regional economic integration and development. Most importantly, political leaders of the South-East should tone down their divisive rhetoric, and and forge a common, and united front. Igbo Diasporas should also engage their homeland governments constructively. They should seek to be part of the political process at home, to influence sustainable change. 2023 elections presents a good opportunity to support credible candidates both at the state and federal elections, and encourage voter registration, and voting in the main elections”, Dr. Nworah concluded.
Presentation of appreciation award to the host, Chief Chidi Anyaegbu, MFR, formed the high point of the event.