The meeting started by 9.40 am with opening remarks by the Acting Executive Director, IID, Dr Nkwachukwu Orji. He thanked members for their contributions to the discussions that take place at each SEWEG meeting and for engaging in the follow-up activities. He noted that the day’s business will be dominated by discussions on “Development Planning in Nigeria: The South East Zone in Perspective” and deliberations on the draft model law for Local Governments in the South East. Dr Orji also noted that the resource person, Dr Uzochukwu Amakom, is a seasoned development economist and therefore was expected to do justice to his assignment. He added that it would be important for the meeting to discuss the future of SEWEG especially from the prism of advocacy and research. Thereafter the Acting Executive Director called on members to introduce themselves, for the benefit of the resource person. At the end of the introductions, Dr Uzochukwu Amakom was invited to take the stage and present the lead discussion paper.