Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has commended the plan by the Warri South Local Government Area of the state to set aside 1,000 hectares of land for oil palm plantation as part of efforts to boost the economy of the oil-rich council.
Aside the oil palm plantation, he also commended the local government plan to establish tech-hub as part of its empowerment projects for the teeming youths in the state and Warri in particular.
Okowa made the commendations at the opening of second Warri Economic Summit tagged: ‘Warri Rocks’ last Wednesday evening by the Warri Economic Summit Group (WESG) in conjunction with Warri South Local Government Area.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, David Edevwie, the governor said: “The plan by the Warri South LGA to establish 1,000 hectares of oil palm plantation is heart-warming news to me. The tech-hub project is also commendable, making the future of our people very bright.”
He said the reigning peace in the state and Warri in particular has been attracting the interest of investors to the state, and lauded the council boss, Dr. Michael Tidi, for ensuring peace in his area, reminding him that it is the responsibility of the government to provide the conducive environment for business to grow.
Tidi had told the gathering that his council was midwifing a process that would lead to the birth of 1,000 hectares oil palm plantation on one of the rural communities in the next 18 months.
He explained that his administration is taking the challenge based on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report that Nigeria imports crude palm oil of $500 million, approximately N175 billion annually, asking: “What if we can get a billion naira from this money for Warri?
“The single solution to nearly all the problems in Warri is job creation. To kick start job creation, Warri South LGA is looking at two vital areas at the same time. The first is agriculture and the second is information technology.”
Co-host and Chairman of Warri Economic Summit Group (WESG), Mr. Emmamuel Jakpa, on his own, harped on the need for business and political leaders in Warri to agree on how to proceed for the city to develop, stressing that they must overcome the last vestiges of ethnicity on the development and adopt an economically sound programme for the development of the area.
“The projects that will develop Warri cut across ethnic boundaries, and we must not stop them because of such boundaries,” he said.