• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
businessday logo


Finnish Ambassador, Olu of Warri synergise to boost science, technology, others

Finnish Ambassador, Olu of Warri synergise to boost science, technology, others

The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III has sought areas of cooperation with the Finnish Ambassador to Nigeria, Leena Pylvanainen to accelerate development in the Warri kingdom.

The Diplomatic Envoy was hosted by the Warri King, also sought for a closer tie in the area of Science & Technology, Trade and other investment opportunities of mutual benefits.

The Finnish Ambassador who was on a 2 day visit to Warri Kingdom also visited the ancestral home of the Itsekiri, in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta state and other areas of intervention led by the monarch and his wife, Olori Atuwatse III and other respected palace chiefs.

At a roundtable organized at the palace, the Regional Development Master plan of the kingdom was presented to the ambassador and her entourage which included Mr Pasi Kokkonen, Counsellor, Embassy of Finland, Abuja.

The master plan was presented to the visitors on Thursday at a colourful ceremony amid Itsekiri sons and daughters at the palace of the king in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta.

Presenting the master plan, Lukeman Oshidi said that the development of communities in Warri remained a significant concerned hence the need for Ogiame to embark on the initiative

Oshodi said that the Warri South, Warri North and Warri South-West had a landmass of about 7,000 square kilometers adding that developing the communities would be of immense advantage to the kingdom.

The environmentalist said that the initiative would create opportunities to harness the potentials embedded in the communities in the Warri kingdom.

“The Olu of Warri has taken the initiative that there must be a document, a plan that should harness the potentials and make it more beneficial to the residents of the entire Warri kingdom and of course the large population of Nigeria.

“That is where the regional master plan is coming from. To see how different opportunities can be harnessed.

“How the communities can be more productive, prosperous and transformed in a way the residents and visitors can benefit from the transformations,” he said.

Oshodi said that the goals of the regional master plan was to articulate environmental, social, educational and cultural aspirations of the Warri kingdom.

He also said that the master plan was an all encompassing document that would indicate areas of transformation especially in the aspect of housing in the next decade(s).

Read also: Olori Atuwatse III targets human development, empowers 50 Deltans

“In the housing sector, this is how it will look like, also in the economic generation. So it is an all-encompassing documents that gives direction and of course the growth trajectory of Warri kingdom

“Issues of resilient, gender, disabilities and social inclusion among others will determine the growth of the master plan,” he said.

Also presenting, Mrs Diana Edemasillo, the Chief Administrator to the Olori (wife of the Olu of Warri) spoke on the achievement and the mandates of the Ogiame to the people of Iwereland.

Edemasillo, reminded that during the coronation of the Atuwatse 111, the king promised to support the women in the kingdom to enable them to realise their potentials.

“We are seeing the multiplier effect of the promises to the collective development of our people. We ensure that our women both young and old are respected not only words but by actions and cultural practices,” she said.

Edemasillo observed that women and persons with disabilities continue to face discrimination and marginalisation in Nigeria while economic growth remains for the men.

She also said that climate change and the “unsustainable use” of natural resources was threatening the well-being of the communities in the Itsekiri nation and stressed that the challenge needed urgent and sustained attention.

“This critical challenge does not affect the whole Nigeria but the Warri kingdom. Ogiame believes that working with the government of Finland will drive the long term development plan to secure the future of the indigenous people and preserve its culture,” she said.

She said that the Olori Atuwatse 111 had established the Royal Iwere Foundation to train women in various skills in the Warri kingdom to lift them out of the poverty line.

On the aspect of healthcare, Edemasillo said that the Wuwu Ore (Mother’s Love) had provided healthcare services to the people particularly those that could not afford healthcare services adding that the initiative was still on course.

She said that other initiatives by the Olori would soon commence in the Iwereland.

Responding to the presentations, Ambassador Pylvanainen said that they had already worked on all the issues mentioned in the master plan adding that they would continue to work on them.

“The master plan is very impressive. We are in this together. Many of the initiatives are already ongoing.

“In Finland, Ogiame will meet expertise, they are humble diplomats. I am looking forward to hearing his experience with them,” the ambassador said.

Earlier, the Ogiame and the palace chiefs had led the visitors to the Cleverminds Educational Foundation in Warri South where they met with the pupils and staff of the school.

Speaking on his effort to drive development in the Kingdom in an interview said part of the role traditional rulers should be seen doing is making the use of opportunities available to impact on the lives of the people in the Kingdom.

“I think it really comes from the first question I was asked of what role should traditional rulers play? It is simply just trying to make the best opportunities and the position I find myself without confiding myself to the traditional box as it were. So one have to step out of the box and think creatively without losing your dignity and prestige”