By Catherine Ogbogu
Permanent Secretary Government House, Delta State, Sir Edwin Ogidi-Gbegbaje has called on all Urhobo sons and daughters to unite and speak in one voice in order to protect and promote their heritage for the development of their homeland.
He said this in a speech delivered at the just concluded 4th edition of the annual Urhobo Economic & Investment Summit, #EKPOBAR2021.
As a member of the discussion panel at the summit, he analyzed problems and proposed solutions to how Government policies can impact on the Urhobo Nation.
He stated that well thought out government policies should be put in place and implemented faithfully to give direction to the smooth operation of the economy of Urhobo land.
“Any successful government intervention in development must begin with a good policy. A government that wants the best for its citizens, wants development through investments and good investors, should begin with a good policy. The participation of government will thereafter be to guide the process”.
He cautioned that any problem faced by investors should be properly and forcefully handled to protect investments. “For instance, Government must make and enforce laws against men who go about extorting money from investors, Farmers and property developers and protect them against harassments or intimidation.”
“Development must be made consistent with policy goals so the investors and developers will reap the profit arising from investments. And then the Urhobo nation will grow.”
“Government should faithfully implement its policies and give directions so that investors will be confident to invest over the long term. Policies must remain a guide to the process of implementation of any Government program that will guide development in Urhobo land”.
“Today, through government policies, the bad boys have been forced to stop intimidating and harassing investors and contractors. Through this successful effort, investors don’t have to be afraid anymore to come into Delta State to invest” he added.
The yearly gathering for all sons and daughters of Urhobo land is set to harness the economic potentials and unlock the investment opportunities in Urhobo Nation as prominent sons and daughters mount the podium to speak on way forward for their people.
According to one of the organizers of the summit, Mr Kingsley Ubiebi, the summit is not just to gather and talk but to promote and showcase economic potentials.
“It is to encourage, support, develop, promote the investment opportunities and cultural heritage of the Urhobos and use the outcome of the ceremonies to bridge the gap between those at home and in the diaspora.
“The summit which is organized yearly at the end of every year, is geared towards addressing core issues relating to the challenges of growth and development.
“The summit visit issues relating to all sectors of the economy and this are the 4th edition which was themed: Industrialization And The Path To Urhobo Prosperity.
Listening to all the Speakers today I believe more work will be put in place because we are not here just to talk but to work the talk” he added.