State of Urhobo economy calls for sober reflection—Taiga *As Ibru, Akoroda, Diejomaoh urge strategic partnership By Precious Otete
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State of Urhobo economy calls for sober reflection—Taiga
*As Ibru, Akoroda, Diejomaoh
urge strategic partnership
By Precious Otete
PRESIDENT-General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, Olorogun (Dr.) Moses Oghenerume Taiga, JP, has said the state of the economy of the Urhobo Nation calls for sober reflection.
This is as Dr. Goodie Ibru, OON, former President of Nigeria Stock Exchange; and Prof. Malachy Akoroda, Professor of Agronomy and Director, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture has urged strategic partnership as one of the ways for the Urhobo Nation to come out of the economic dilemma facing her.
In his welcome address delivered at the First Economic Summit ever organized by the UPU, with the theme, “Engineering the Urhobo Nation for Economic Growth and Development” held on Thursday December 5, 2019 at Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamuge-Agbarho, Olorogun Moses Taiga, lamenting the present economy of the Urhobo Nation, noted that “as the fourth largest ethnic group in the most populous black nation on earth, I must admit, that while we have conquered the social and educational disadvantages of the 1930s and 1940s, and have highly qualified and well-celebrated professionals in every sphere of life, the Urhobo Nation has not fared well economically, but seems to be witnessing a gradual decline.”
The UPU President-General wondered: “Where is the AT & P Timber factory, which at the time was the largest in the world? Where are our rubber and oil palm plantations? Where are the famed Urhobo-owned breweries? Why has there been a surge in criminal activities in Urhoboland, especially among the youths since the turn of the 21st century? Why is politics now seen as the only way “to make it and arrive” by youths and adults alike? Why has the Urhobo economy been reduced to a ‘buying and selling’ one? Where did we go wrong? How do we steer the Urhobo Nation on the path of economic growth and prosperity? These and many other questions are begging for answers.”
In calling for sober reflection, Taiga further urged: “Each and every one of us as Urhobos do a thorough self-examination of our roles in the economic dilemma presently facing the Urhobo nation. Have we provided the enabling environment for a thriving Urhobo economy? What role have we played in attracting investments, industries and other employment-generating establishments to our communities and kingdoms? Are we active participants in any economic and industrial activity that continues to degrade and pollute our environment, especially our rivers and farm lands, thereby destroying our people’s source of food and livelihood, and putting the health and well-being of present and future generations of Urhobo at great risk? Are we willing to put the economic interest of Urhobo Nation above our personal and commercial interests for a greater, better, secured and more prosperous Urhobo land?”
In his paper presented by Dr. Goodie M. Ibru, OON, founder of Ikeja Hotel Plc, owners of Sheraton Lagos Hotel and Towers; and former Chairman, Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc called for Urhobo Nation to have strategic partnerships and alliances with her neighbours.
So also, Professor Malachy Oghenovo Akoroda, a past Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Prof. Vremudia Diejomaoh, a retired Professor of Economics, University of Lagos, former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan; and former Deputy Director-General, International Labour Organisation (ILO), and Mr. Robert Itawa, Executive Director, Capital Hotels Plc, owners of Sheraton Abuja Hotel, in their paper presentations at the Summit, equally tasked the Urhobo Nation to look inwards and be practical in finding ways out of its economic woes.