From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The Minister of Foreign affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, a former Minister of power Professor Chinedu Nebo among other stakeholders from Udi local government area in Enugu state,at the weekend harped on the vital need of exploiting and nvesting on various potentials in rural communities as a means of gingering rural evelopment.
Th stakeholders gave insights on how food/cash crops and local delicacies,palm wine etc. common with their people can be rebranded to generate employment and empowerment beyond the scopes of the town and Enugu state through on line trade and other technology inclined facilities.
They gave the insight in their various speeches delivered at a one day economic summit organized by the UDI council administration led by Hon Pascal Agu,seeking ways of advancing the economic fortunes of their commumities and generating employment for their Youths,outside the monthly allocation which accrues to UDI local government area from the federation account.
The Foreign affairs minister who tasked the Council administration to look in depth on ways of localizing the economy of the council, further urged the council to note the various local food processors, local manufacturers and producers of food stuffs, agree on terms with them on how to brand their products as UDI made,for greater productivity and improved income generation for both parties.
Corroborating the Foreign affairs minister view,former minister of power Professor Chinedu Nebo,who is also a son of the soil said the pro COVID-19 economy thrives on Agriculture and technology. He tasked the UDI Council authority to create a data bank of the various goods and services available in the communities and record of human resources.
Prof Nebo said there is need to also identify the exportable resources like the palm oil, the cashew nuts,groundnuts, peanuts etc. that initially were produced large quantities in UDI rural communities.
He further advocated for revolving loans for young entrepreneurs, the need for micro finance banks to support Youths venturing into Agriculture, development of tourism sites in UDI council area,among others.
He lamented he championed a cause of establishing a solar powered plant that would have been one of the best in Africa ,in partnership with an American firm but it was sabotaged by some local conspirators.
An Estate Surveyor, Rev Ugo Chime, said knowledge of what is available in UDI is what is needed to sell the town not necessarily finance. He said that a data of what is viable in UDI is needed to convince investors.
The various speakers commended the current Udi local government chairman, Hon Pascal Agu for initiating the economic summit. expressing hope that it will achieve the set objectives and goals.
The UDI Council area under Pascal Agu had earlier set the ball rolling for investors to come in with a project tagged, “,UDI Smart City initiative. A haven for business clusters and affordable residential homes located outside 9th mile corner of the council area.