It Should Be Golden Jubilee For Industrialisation – Akujuru


A former Vice Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State and Principal Lecturer at Port Harcourt Polytechnic  Chief (Barr.) Chikwe A. Akujuru, says the Golden Jubilee celebration of Rivers State provides an ample opportunity for the industrialisation of the State.
For me, we cannot say we have not fared well but we have not gotten to actually where we are supposed to be. Because, if not for anything, that we have gotten independence from the former Eastern Nigeria, is a serious plus. That we are also producing our scholars is a plus. Today, we have many professors and experts in several fields, journalism, law, medicine and what have you. That is the area we can say we have made serious impact. But economically, just like the Nigerian syndrome, we are still yet to find our feet. This can be practically seen with the high incidence of militancy and kidnapping we are contending with and other associated crimes in the State. I think what we need now is proper industrialisation of the State because we have the raw materials. All types of raw materials are here. If you go to the sea, it has not been exploited. We are supposed to have many trawling companies in the State. We are also supposed to have fishing industries. Even, we have not fared well in agriculture. We cannot feed ourselves in the State. If you go to Ogoni areas, Etche, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni and other areas, we have land. Yet, we cannot produce the food we need. For example, a basin of garri today is sold for over N5,000. This is, however, a concomitant of the discovery of petroleum products in our State. Unfortunately, petroleum business can only take a minute percentage of our people because it is capital intensive and the labour itself is more or less foreign.
Our people cannot be fully integrated. Most of what we do at the rig is a mere pseudo labour work. We are not integrated in the mainstream. So, when the work is exhausted, we have no more work for our people because we do not have enough skills to be integrated into the mainstream of the labour force. So, that is why we are still having cases of unemployment, kidnapping and so on.
We should therefore go back to agriculture. That is our mainstream. We were Rivers Protectorate because of agriculture. All the little money we are making from oil should be shifted to agriculture. This is because if a man is fed, the first problem of dying of hunger is solved.
Rivers at 50 should, therefore, be Rivers for industrialisation, Rivers for agriculture and Rviers to put food on our people’s table.