Time for lasting pragmatic action plan to tackle poverty and underdevelopment.
By Otori Ozigi.
It has been established through empirical research that Kogi state is largely rural with the bulk of the population in the region of 90 percentage living in rural areas.
This is the more compelling reason why there should be a paragime shift in our focus in developing this all important sector of the economy.
There is no gainsaying that rural areas in the state are presently entrapped in the miasma of criminal neglect, with attendant rise in multidimensional poverty, unemployment, and general undevelopment.
It is a matter of concern and worry that access to portable water and electricity is still a mirage in some communities in the state, in this time and age.
There is mass squalor and unhealthy environment in these communities across the 21 local governments in the state.
The Ministry of Rural development and Energy which was created on 26th July,2012,should a matter of urgency draw up an action plan and lasting initiatives to reverse the debilitating situation across the three senatorial districts in the state.
There should be new project designs and increase in the budget allocations to the ministry to address the alarming situation.
The programs and policies should cut across multi-sectors namely education, health, water transportation, rural electrification and other socio-economic and natural resources, abniso.
The youths and women in these communities should be properly empowered with sustainable source of living, in line with extant best practices to address the alarming rate of unemploymen and poverty in the rural areas.
The government of Alhaji Ododo Ahmed Usman should pay adequate attention in consolidating the programs and policies of his predessesor in developing the rural areas.
More developmental projects that have direct impact on the people should be sited in the rural communities in the years ahead.
Our representatives in both the State and National Assemblies should redoubtable their efforts in attracting constituency projects to the rural areas in the state.
It is high time the drift in our focus should stop.
Let the people in the rural areas live a better life like their counterparts in the cities.
Time for a new orientation and commitment is now.
Otori Ozigi, a veteran journalist and PR Consultant, writes from Okene.