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Ogurugu Jetty Facility, Mbah and Benefits Ahead


By Samson Ezea 

As a pupil in primary school in the late 80s and a secondary school student in early 90s, I enjoyed spending my holidays in some farm settlements like Ishi Obina, Opanda, Ugwu Nimbo, Ngeleyi, Adani and others in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area. While my late father settled at Ugwu Nimbo for years before returning home to look after her aged mother, my late uncle was at Ishi Obina for years after quitting his security job in Enugu in the early 90s.  

   Before the close of school for holidays, I always look forward to going to Uzo Uwani to spend my holidays. The choice of transportation to these settlements was limited to 911 Mercedes lorries. Just as it was then, and even now, all the agrarian communities of the local government are endowed with fertile lands and natural ambience that are conducive for farming and peaceful living. The various farm settlements are criscrossed by different rivers that provide good sources of drinking water, recreation, and irrigation. Then, makeshift mud huts and thatched houses were constructed for living with bamboo and palm frond made beds alongside mats for sleeping. Bicycles were  major means of transportation within the settlements. Relations and friends exchanged visits as farming went on as a matter of course. 

   Bountiful harvests from different farm settlements in the local government area were what our parents sold those days to make money to train us in schools. This was apart from the ones we ate and  gave out to people.  

   Those days, a man's success or wealth was measured by the number of barns of yams he harvested during the harvesting season. Then farming was practiced at the subsistence level, but there were bountiful harvests, brotherhood, security, peace, and communal relationships in the various farm settlements, especially between the indigenes, the settlers and visitors. Uzo Uwani LGA was indeed the food basket of Enugu State. The experience was memorable and has remained evergreen in my mind. 

    Many years after,  I had wished and  looked forward to government's intervention, especially in the area of security, critical infrastructure like roads and mechanised agricultural programmes that will open up the place, create jobs and generate income for farmers and revenue for government. 

   After the creation of Enugu State from Anambra State in 1991, my expectations and optimism doubled, considering the strategic importance of Uzo Uwani in the state as an agrigarian community and the food basket of the state that must be developed and harnessed for optimal utilisation in the state and beyond. 

   Unfortunately, successive governments in the state didn't pay much attention to harnessing the agricultural and economic potentials in the council area. It was the immediate past administration in Enugu State that constructed and asphalted the 26.665km Ukpabi- Nimbo- Ugbene Ajima- Eziani road and 39km Umulokpa-Onubuogbo road under the state government and World Bank counterfunding RAMP project that stretched across Umulokpa, Adaba, Nkume, Ukpata, Uvuru and Nkpologu communities and others that opened up the place to an extent. The efforts of the immediate past administration in the state in ensuring that the state will soon become an oil producing state with an oil well situated in Uzo Uwani is commendable. 

   When it appeared that all hope had been lost on harnessing the economic, aquatic and agricultural potentials of Uzo Uwani LGA, Governor  Peter Mbah, who had promised during his campaign as contained in his manifesto of his readiness and commitment to open up and harness the potentials in the council area, has become more realistic and possible with the appointment of Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ikechukwu Ogalla from Enugu State as the Chief of Naval Staff. What a divine coincidence. 

   In what could be described as walking the talk, it was gladdening reading recently about Vice Admiral Ogalla's visit  to Governor Mbah in the Enugu Government House, after which Ogalla  and Deputy Governor, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai visited Ogurugu Jetty Port and waterway in preparation for the establishment of a Naval Base in the area.    

   No doubt, this development will bring enormous economic, security, and agricultural benefits to Enugu State, particularly the people of Uzo Uwani LGA.    

    Apart from providing security that has remained a major menace in the farm settlements in the council area in recent times as a result of nefarious activities of marauding herdsmen, the  base will provide job opportunities, boost the economy of the state, enable waterway transportation, promote mechanised agriculture and facilitate ease of doing business. 

    When the state is fully accorded the status of oil producing state which is in the offing, the presence of Naval Base will improve commercial activities and provide security for the exploration of oil wells which will invariably provide job opportunities and enable farmers that have been chased out of their farm settlements by the herdsmen to return.    

    With Governor Mbah government's robust and transformative agricultural programmes, policies and schemes, which are targeted at harnessing and maximising optimally the agricultural potentials of the state for economic benefits, it is certain that the economic and agricultural potentials of Uzo Uwani and other agrigarian council areas and communities will be properly harnessed and utilized by the state government in collaboration with the people, relevant government agencies, bodies, institutions and international organisations.

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