Okowa seeks economic diversification, grants 50,000 hectres for agric

Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday in Asaba sought diversification of economy for agricultural sector to cushion the harsh economic situation threatening the state.

The governor who dropped the hint in Government House after meeting with a team of Union Dicon Salt Plc and GEA Groups, told journalists that the agricultural sector
would engender growth, stimulate the economy and create employment for the people of the state.

Saying that the nation needed at present to diversify its economy from oil dependence, the governor noted that diversification was the only way to drive an inclusive and sustainable economic growth, create jobs for the youths and put an end to the current economic challenges facing the nation.

His words: “We need to diversify our economy to agriculture, right now. I have approved 50,000 hectres of cassava production that will generate jobs and create economic activities in the communities, this is in line with SMART Agenda as we believe that we should not just produce cash crops, but also process it to get added values that will stimulate growth and the small scale farm holders in the areas will benefit our people”.

Dr. Okowa expressed the need in growing agriculture sector in terms of growing wealth for Deltans, adding that over dependence on oil had had its challenges and had disoriented the youths.

Meanwhile, Governor Okowa had on Sunday charged political office holders to be accommodating and avoid divisive tendencies.

The governor who gave the charge at the sacred Heart Catholic Church in Umunede, Ika North Local Government Area of the State during a thanksgiving service held by Dr. Joseph Ukadike, Provost College of Education Agbor said:
“As someone holding position in government, you must find a way to accommodate everybody, the more we begin to identify ourselves as one people, the better for us”.

In another development, the state government yesterday presented the Obi of Ubulu Uku, Obi Chukwuka Noah Akaeze I with a staff of office.

The ceremony which was held at the palace of Ubulu-Uku Monarch, in Ubulu-Uku community, Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State was performed by the state Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro who represented the governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

Barr. Otuaro, while congratulating the monarch and the people of Ubulu-Uku on their steadfastness, however appealed to the monarch to discharge his responsibility transparently in line with the Ubulu-Uku traditions adding:
“Please carry along all your subjects, we as a government has taken note of the needs in Ubulu-Uku community, we will do our best to ensure provision of basic amenities to the community”.

Noting that the monarch is the custodian of Ubulu-Uku Kingdom, Barr. Otuaro urged him to keep to the struggle in the cause of his subjects and eschew whatever issues that would create doubts.

His words: “I want to urge you to always use dialogue to resolve all issues, especially issues affecting your people” and called on sons and daughters of Ubulu-Uku to take advantage of their cordial relationship to attract investment to the area.

Earlier in his remarks, the President General of Ubulu-Uku Development Union, Sir Jones Ofunne appealed to the state government and security agencies to come to the aid of the monarch and Ubulu-Uku people, adding the people had been faced with challenges of inconclusive nature of police investigation on the murder of King Edward Ofulue III.

His words: “The situation is still a matter of concern to this community; we have security challenges.

Criminality, cultism, strife and hooliganism have been foisted on the community by some unscrupulous and disgruntled elements. This has to be addressed. In the meantime, we humbly request that the king’s palace should be fenced round, and a Divisional Police Station is approved for Ubulu-Uku to beef up security in Ubulu-Uku, Ubulu-Unor and various satellite villages in Ubulu-Uku clan”.

Chief Isaac Anwusia, Aniocha South Council boss, in his contributions, called on the state government to support the monarch to finish his studies in United Kingdom adding:
“We also call on the security agents to beef up security around the monarch 24 hours to ensure his safety”. Responding, the monarch, Obi Chukwuka Noah Akaeze I, thanked the state government for the recognition accorded him and sued for peaceful co-existence among Ubulu-Uku people.