Date Published: 11/01/09
Niger Delta Basin And Rural Development Authority Bringing Back Lost Glory of Agriculture In Nigeria. By Prince Amour Udemude
PIX SHOWS L-R; GOVERNOR EMMANUEL UDUAGHAN, CHIEF EMMANUEL AGUARIAVWODO
CHAIRMAN, NIGER DELTA BASIN DEV AUTHORITY BOARD AND MR ROBERT ALLEN,
GENERAL MANAGER, NIGER DELTA BASIN DEV AUTHORITY DURING A COURTESY CALL
ON GOVERNOR UDUAGHAN IN GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ASABA. PHOTO BY PRINCE AMOUR
Recently the Niger Delta Basin and Rural Development Authority Board led by its Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Edesiri Aguariavwodo, paid what is termed a partnership coutesy visit on the Delta state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan at government house, Asaba.
In the visit the promotion of agriculture came to the front burner where issues that could bring back the lost glory of the agriculture sector and the need for partnership were discused.
Prince Amour Udemude, Niger Delta STANDRAD Newspaper, government house correspondent,Asaba, Delta state writes on the significant of the board visit, restoration of lost glory of the sector and other salient issues.
A hungry man they say is an angry man and no nation can boast of survival without food on the tables of the masses.
It is a known fact that Agriculture was once the backbone of the Nigerian economy which generates the much needed foreign exchange for Nigeria’s development before the discovery of crude oil.
Nigeria, back up with facts and figures before now was a force to reckon with in the exportation of several agriculture produce such as palm oil, rubber, cocoa, cotton among others too numerous to mentioned.
The agriculture sector as a result of high profile revenue been generated from the oil sector it was neglected some decades by the federal government.
For the serious neglect of the agriculture sector the globe recorded an unprecedented food crisis which has never been.
Can there be any hope or way to regain the lost glory of agriculture sector in Nigeria? This Chief Emmanuel Edesiri Aguariavwodo, Chairman, Niger Delta Basin and Rural Development Authority Board (NDBDA) believed that it is absolutely possible to regain the lost glory of agriculture which has been neglected some decades ago. Chief Aguariavwodo, how ever raised the hopes of Nigerians and the Niger Delta People in particular when he stated that if more funds are channeled into the board, definitely the lost glory will in no time be realized.
The erstwhile Niger Delta Development Commissioner NDDC) boss who led the board members and management staff on partnership courtesy visit to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state also noted that the board will also use agriculture to curb militancy in the Niger Delta region by engaging the unemployed and restive youths.
The fact that a large proportion of Nigeria’s rural population depends on subsistence agriculture for survival is no news, but what is news and of great concern is the fact that 49 tears after Independence, the nation is still grappling with the challenges of food security.
A new chapter has been opened in the agriculture sector in the Niger Delta region and the nation in general.
Agriculture is now a new focus of Chief Aguariavwodo’s led board which will no doubt also fight poverty and curb the restiveness in the region.
In the partnership visit where the promotion of agriculture came to the front burner, the tested and trusted politician reiterated the commitment of the board in taking the agriculture sector to enviable heights.
According to the board chairman "The issue of agriculture should be taken seriously" assuring that in no distance time the board shall bring back the lost glory with the caliber of persons mounting its affair.
Nothing can be more amazing and applauded as the board is focusing much emphasis on agriculture than oil.
Chief Aguariavwodo disclosed that "In time past the board was the best in agriculture in this country" and assured governor Uduaghan and the people that the board has started in ear nest to achieve its set goals in line with the seven point agenda of President Musa Yar’Adua.
Talking about caliber of persons that made up the board, I think President Yar’Adua must be commended for appointing the likes of Chief Aguariavwodo who can deliver at the appointed time.
Chief Aguariavwodo is a politician of high repute who needs no introduction; he did it in the National Assembly as a member of reps and as the Managing Director, NDDC.
The need for partnership is been taking seriously by the board which made it paid the courtesy visit on the Delta state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan in Asaba and other proposed visits to other states across the country.
The partnership driven ideology of the board will take its visit to other state governors because a tree they say cannot make a forest.
The board can not do it alone, the support and cooperation of all and sundry will be of vital importance to the realization of the board’s set goals.
Chief Aguariavwodo while stating that the federal government has focused its attention on massive production of agriculture across the country, he told the governor that "We are going into commercial rice production. We are also involved in water scheme but this time around our focus is going to be in agriculture" he said.
The astute politician servant leader however used the occasion to appeal to Dr. Uduaghan to come into partnership with the board in the area of agriculture which he noted will be attractive to the people.
He mentioned koko in Delta State as one of the places the board has sited its palm production and other areas in Bayelsa Rivers State among others. In actual sense if more funds are pumped into the board, the sky will be the country’s limit in the agriculture sector.
This is one board that is putting a lot of emphasis on agriculture and I want to see that whether the price of oil is falling or not, the people will go to sleep with two eyes close because agriculture does not depend on oil, SHELL or even CHEVRON but the issue is that there should be more adequate funding for the board pursue to its dreams to better the lots of the people as far as agriculture is concern and there will be food on our tables, unemployed and restive youths will be engaged.
Making restiveness, kidnap, militancy a thing of the past.
The board partnership drive will also provide job opportunities for thousands of our people across the country.
In governor Uduaghan’s comment during the partnership visit, he formally congratulated the chairman and his members on their appointment and thanked the board for the visit adding that "There is a lot the board can contribute to the issue of the president amnesty in the region. Your board can tackle unemployment if you are able to develop the agriculture sector".
The governor disclosed that his government has been involved in agriculture with the training of over 400 youths across the state. Governor Uduaghan who applauded the board’s initiatives however promised to look into area that the state could partner with it.
I want to stress here that strengthening the public private partnership arrangement by the board will act as a catalyst toward achieving the President Yar’Adua’s administration 7-point agenda on foot security.
Nigeria hope is built on an improved agricultural sector that is capable of transforming the rural economy, improve our export earnings and fight poverty in a stable democracy.
The time, no doubt, is now to restore the lost glory of agriculture in Nigeria for the benefit of the present and future generations.
And at this point I sincerely appeal to all and sundry to give their maximum support and cooperation to the Chief Aguariavwodo’s led board to it deserve so that the future of the agriculture sector of our country will be taken to the greater heights.
Among those in the chairman’s entourage were the borad members which includes, Robert Allen, (GM), S O. Uyigwe, COC Egumgbe, Lydia Alfa, Shehuwa Nafada, Mohammed, Mowan Etete, Wilfred Ziregbe and Williams Omorivo (SAs to Chairman) as well as Mr. Alex Aniemike, Board Secretary and other management staff.
Prince Amour Udemude is a Journalist and writes in from Asaba the capital city of Delta state.