Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The people of Omor Community in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State have cried out to Federal Government to rehabilitate the Otuocha-Omor-Adani federal road that connects the agrarian community to other towns and states.
The traditional ruler of Omor Community Igwe Chris Chidume who made the appeal, on Thursday, while addressing news as part of the activities to mark his first Ofala festival in his residence, said that lack of access road has hindered the food basket of Anambra State from transporting their farm produce to the urban areas.
“I would like to appeal that the Federal government look into the construction of access roads to our communities; Otuocha-Omor-Adani road in particular.
“If the road is fixed, it will allow movement of farm produce from our town to other parts of the country where we will access a bigger market and at the same time, unblock the economic fortunes of the region and further encourage inter-regional exchange of goods and services.
“This will bring boom in both agricultural and commercial activities in these communities and beyond, thereby discouraging rural-urban migration.
“I call on the state and federal government, to note that what we are facing today is where we have rural-urban migration of people, who do not have any usefulness to the urban area, rather constituting nuisance. Introducing the people to agriculture with a sustainable enticement will go a long way in stimulating agriculture value chain which is one of the core pillars of the government of the day under the leadership of governor Willie Obiano.
“In addition, Agrarian communities in Nigeria, just like Omor, with a bubbling youthful population, are usually faced with challenges of the youths indulging in illicit and hard substances and other social vices common among our youths.
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“Most times, people are compelled by peer pressure to indulge in them which ultimately lead to addiction.
“The youth being the strength and future hope of any nation, we must ensure we see to their wellbeing through positive engagement of their potentials.
“On this, we have engaged NGOs and some social organisation in working closely with the elders of the community on strategic steps that can stave off the plague of these unfortunate phenomena.
“Omor, because of its huge agricultural potentials, hosts the Lower Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, which is an important Federal Government project in rice value chain.
“This we have embraced, hoping that by the time the project is fully resuscitated, farmers will be able to engage in three-season-per-year rice farming which will in turn create a multiplying effect on the economy of the community and its neighboring towns. This will also expedite the Federal Government resolve in stopping rice importation”.
The good news here is that the off taker of this rice, JOSAN Rice Mill and Farm who acquired the giant mill whose annual rice production capacity is estimated to be around 50,000 metric tons of rice, the biggest rice milling plant in Nigeria, will not be lacking input.
Going by the capacity of this giant mill and other rice milling plants around, with other viable ventures springing up around Omor and Ayamelum, like the Gas project being undertaken by Ibeto Group in Omasi, I see an economically viable Omor and Ayamelum” Chidume stated.