Olu, Rep, ministry’s chief chart path to development
The issue of the dwindling fortunes of Nigeria in particular and Africa in general has again been addressed by the Olu of Warri, Ogiame Godwin Ikenwoli, and other eminent citizens.
The others are a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Peter Akpatason; a director in the Federal Ministry of Power, Mr. Kunle Akerele, and a hospitality sector operator, Hon. Oritsebemigho Eyeoyibo.
It was at the 38th yearly convention and 12th Annual Lecture of Neo-Black Movement (NBM) of Africa held in Warri, Delta State during which an engineer, Chief Felix Kupa, was elected as the group’s National Head (NH Worldwide). The theme of the convention was “Re-inventing African Resource Potentials for Global Economic Growth.”
The Warri monarch spoke in his palace while receiving the leadership of NBM who visited him to pay homage and pledge its intention to partner with traditional rulers, agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
The king pointed out that development could only be attained in an atmosphere of peace and unity, enjoining the group to continue to take a pacesetter position in nation building. He prayed for them and promised the support of the palace for their developmental objectives.
Akpatason said that the convention was an opportunity to chart the way forward for Nigeria and Africa as the continent was unduly backward. He noted that Nigeria has everything it takes to be the richest country in the world but has abandoned its potentials. The question, he asked, is when are we going to take advantage of those potentials and how do we go about it?
According to him, “our greatest resources in Nigeria and Africa is human capital but unfortunately, it is the most neglected and I believe that we cannot move out of the woods until we pay adequate attention and invest properly in human capital development.”
He also emphasised the need for agricultural development as well as revamping and building of new refineries to end fuel importation.
Eyeoyibo, the NBM’s immediate past NH, said the group typically uses the platform (convention and lecture) to interface with the society and government as partners in integrating resources, cultures and programmes for sustainable development.
Akerele said that Africa was going through profound shifts in demographic, economical, technological, political and environmental spheres, stressing that its economic growth has not been inclusive as its people have not reaped the benefits.
He lamented that the vast resources that African countries possess mostly benefit foreign nations and interests.
Akerele added that with the continent ‘s population set to be more than double by 2050, Africa’s greatest asset would be its capacity to harness its human capability.
Also present at the convention were intellectuals, rights activists, entrepreneurs, civil servants, politicians and religious groups’ leaders including the Deputy Speaker of Abia State House of Assembly, Dr. Cosmas Ndukwe, and Dr. A.C.B. Agbazuere, Special Adviser to its governor.
Prior to the convention, NBM visited the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Benin City, Edo State managed by the International Christian Center (ICC) with the overseer of the camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho who received food items and other relief materials donated by the movement as a “way of condemning terrorism and supporting victims of terrorism.”
The group also donated a renovated block of two classrooms, chairs and desks to Ebrumede Primary School, Uvwie, Delta State. The staff members and community leaders could not hide their overwhelming joy while they urged other groups and individuals to emulate NBM.