• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Group seeks revitalization of moribund industries in Nigeria’s South-East

Group seeks revitalization of moribund industries in Nigeria’s South-East

The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), a socio-political youth organization, has appealed to governors of the five South-East states of Nigeria to revitalize moribund industries in the region so as to create jobs and boost the region’s economy.

The moribund industries include Nigercem at Nkalagu, Enugu State; Aba Textile Mills in Abia State; Standard Shoe Factory Owerri, Imo State; Nigergas, Nigersteel Company, Glass Industry, Aba, Imo Rubber Nigeria Limited, Resin and Paints Industry, Aboh Mbaise, Imo State, Avutu Poultry, Obowo, Imo State, Paper Packaging Industry in Owere–Ebiri, Orlu, Imo State and Modern Ceramics, Umuahia, Abia State.

The group in a statement, signed by Goodluck Egwu Ibem, president general and Kanice Igwe, secretary general, COSEYL, also urged the Imo State Government to complete the Industrial layout, along Owerri – Onitsha road.

According to the group, “This call is ideal, given the current economic realities, facing not just Nigeria, but the entire world, in a (post-) Covid-19 economic regime.

“We wish to remind the five governors that they are occupying a seat and position, which the late Michael Iheonukara Okpara held, in addition to four states of Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom and yet served creditably well, from 1959 to 1966.

“History remembers and recalls that by 1966 the South-East was referred to as the “fastest growing economy in Africa”.

“No economy can thrive without industrialization. Today, with macro and micro economic policies, the need has always been how best to grow industrially. We remember that when as a premier, Michael Okpara, embarked on laudable projects, through Eastern Regional Development Corporation, to achieve huge industrial success, through agricultural revolution.

“We know there used to be industries most of which were built by Okpara, which, unfortunately, today are no longer standing.

“Today, majority of these revenue sources are abandoned and cast a picture of gloom and dilapidation; some abandoned like biblical Babel tower with most facilities and equipment vandalised.

“Some are occupied, by hoodlums and mentally challenged persons. Today, while oil revenue keeps dwindling, the federal allocation shrinking, only creativity and diversification from crude oil to non-oil sources can shore up revenue for the region.

“While this is the case, some of the facilities mentioned can still be revitalised. No government has ever made a move to assess the condition of Aba Textile Mills and other such facilities within the South-East.

“This, sadly, is not in the interest of the region, nor does it match the pace former pioneers set from the 1950s”.

They urged the Governors and all the elected and occupiers of positions of trust in the region to come together to salvage the future of the region.

They observed that the benefits of revitalizing the industries cannot be overemphasized, stressing that if the industries are revived and repositioned that it would create jobs, reduce crime rate and widen government tax base.