The Senator Representing Delta South Senatorial District, Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, has called on the good people of Isoko Nation to unite to attract meaningful development to the area.
He made this call at the maiden edition of Okugbe-Isoko Economic Youth Summit 2023, with the theme: “Energy: The Pathway To Societal Development”, which was organised by Isoko Development Union Youth Wing, held at Isoko Development Union Secretariat, Oleh.
He said, “I don’t believe in the proliferation of Youth bodies in Isoko nation. This will only cause division among our Youths. We should put Isoko first above our personal interests. Isoko should come together, work together and move Isoko forward.
“Let no man or woman bring the indomitable spirit of the Isoko man down. When we are united we will conquer all. I commended the Isoko Development Union President, Prof Chris Akpotu and his executives, and the Youth Wing president of IDU. We are indeed lucky to have good leadership handling the affairs of Isoko Nation in IDU now.
“We charge the IDU President, Prof Chris Akpotu to be up and doing. I and my younger brother, Hon Jonathan Ukodhiko will work in synergy with you to drive the Isoko agenda. We will do everything humanly possible to defend and promote the Isoko identity”, Onowakpo stated.
The Chairman of the occasion, Barr Chiedu John Ebie, Chairman NDDC Board, who was represented by, Mr Godwin Edozien, in his speech charged the Isoko people on the need to have a viable blueprint so as attract investors to Isoko land, positing that; “No investors will take you seriously without a blueprint.”
On his part, the immediate past Chairman of Isoko South Local Government Council, Sir Chief Itiako Malik Ikpokpo, in his lecture said; “The absence of electricity has created poverty, and hunger in the area. The absence of power supply affects 80% of small scale businesses that average Isoko youths, men, women are involved in.”
He attributed the problems affecting Isoko on the issue of energy and development to Weak Community Leadership. He also urged the leadership of IDU and the Youth Wing to set agenda for next year so that the body can achieve positive results by next year December.
On his part, High Chief Enahoro Eta, the Iyasere of Oyede kingdom, harps on the need for Isoko Youths to think and start making money for themselves, noting that “free money will make you poor. ”
Earlier in his speech, the President Isoko Development Union Youth Wing, Mzee Iraroraina Fidelis Obokpaino, appealed to Isoko sons and daughters of means to join hands to form a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with a minimum of $50,000 each to deploy the proposed 10 megawatts for Isoko.
“The estimated cost of building a 10 megawatts, which by the report of Isoko Alternative Energy Committee headed by our own Engr Nelson Onwo as constituted by the Global President of Isoko Development Union, Prof Chris Akpotu is $14 million while upgrading the entire Isoko Electricity infrastructure to withstand a 24-hour power supply is $3miillion.
“The suggested Special Purpose Vehicle shall be run by experts, and it has been projected by DATA that Return On Investment (ROI) is 14.5% within the Space of 6 years from Electricity Bills. Individuals or corporate organisations that will invest $50,000.
“We are at this juncture suggesting and seriously appealing to Host Communities to see the need to invest part of their 3% provided for by the PIA into the SPV. We also wish to suggest to the Leadership of Isoko Development Union to consider going into partnership with other stakeholders outside Isoko land to see that Isoko attain energy sufficiency. Government agencies such as NDDC and DESOPADEC should be made to understand this as our priority project. Federal and State lawmakers from Isoko should also look at this direction as their Constituency Project for Isoko. ”
The President General of Isoko Development Union, Prof Chris Akpotu commended Senator Joel-Onowakpo Thomas, Senator Representing Delta South Senatorial District, Hon Jonathan Ukodhiko, Barr Paul Onoriode Emerhana, Barr Afor Irogbo and other eminent Isoko Sons and Daughters, who had contributed immensely to the development of Isoko Nation.
He expressed optimism that he is ready to take the bull by the horns by ensuring that Isoko nation developed to enviable heights.
The climax of the one-day event was the empowerment of 36 Youths trained by Isoko Development Union, Youth Wing on Fishery and Management, Fashion and Design, Hair Dressing with starters pack.