Investment expert and Imo APGA governorship hopeful, Mr. Okey Ezeh, has disclosed that the poverty in Imo State amid vast economic potentials is the logical outcome of poor governance.
In a chat with a team of German investors in Owerri, weekend, the consummate entrepreneur stated that there is no justification for Okigwe to remain in its present condition despite the potentials it harbours. Okigwe, he said, has all that is required to evolve into an industrial hub, to create job opportunities and to earn the State foreign exchange.
According to him, “A simple investment can transform Okigwe and create value-added processing in cashew nuts and transform the landscape by harnessing the huge granite deposits through the establishment of industrial quarries that can serve the whole of the South East. Those cashews you see there that seem to be growing in the wild were deliberately planted because of the peculiar topography of that area. The Okparas in the sixties were visionary enough to think about the topography of the area. So, the answer was to plant cashews, which were supposed to protect the top layer of the soil and generate income. But today this vision has been aborted. We have not maximised these potentials. If you go to the UK, for instance, there is a departmental chain called Asda. In London, if you go into any of the Asda outlets, look across the counters. You are going to see cashew nuts. Pick it up and look at it. You will see ‘Produce of Uganda’, ‘Produce of Rwanda’, ‘Produce of Kenya’ and ‘Produce of Ghana. You are not going to see ‘Produce of Nigeria’. But in Okigwe we have comparative advantage in the production of these materials. This trend must be reversed,” he said.
The meeting provided a context for discussions on the sectors of the State’s economy which will attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from Germany when Mr. Okey Ezeh is elected governor come 2019.
The accomplished banker also reminded Imo people that dawn always comes when it is darkest, urging them to keep hope alive, that a new dawn for the State is certainly near.