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Establish industrial hub in Orerokpe to absorb Delta graduates, Gov. Oborevwori advised

‘As Isokos across the country and diaspora exclaims: ‘Let Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, breathe’

By admin , in Inside stories , at February 20, 2024

By Ejiro Umukoro

FOLLOWING the heated debate and anger ragging in Delta State over Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s planned bulkanisation of Delta State University of Science and Technology (DELSUST), Ozoro, a concerned Deltan and oil and gas expert Dr. Jerome Asedegbega has advised the state governor to think of more productive ways of rewarding his Orerokpe community rather than citing a university. Instead, he has been advised to city an industrial hub in Okpe Kingdom that would absorb the thousands of university and polytechnic graduates leaving the existing institutions in the state, noting that adding another higher institution is short-sighted and a clear lack of ideas how to develop the oil-rich state.

With the new three universities already created by the administration of Ifeanyi Okowa at Ozoro, Agbor and Asaba, adding another one in Orerokpe, according to Asedegbega said, “Where there is a lack of innovation and creative thinking one would expect this kind of hasty and acrimonious decision. The Executive Governor of oil-rich Delta State, the second richest state in Nigeria, has the resources and powers to attract development to his Orerokpe, Okpe Kingdom without necessarily fragmenting DELSUST, Ozoro. Has it ever crossed your mind that universities littered in the state without jobs to absorb the graduates they produce are useless and a waste of scarce resources? If yes, my noble advice and proposals to H.E. Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori is to convert the proposed university site in Orerokpe to an industrial bub.”

Asedegbega further described the purported planned relocation of the Faculty of Management Sciences of DELSUST, Ozoro to Orerokpe as “immoral, unjust, and ungodly to exterminate the development and prosperity of Isoko ethnic nationality for your own gains.”

Asedegbega further expanded on his proposed industrial hub for Orerokpe instead of a university to include such facilities as “an IPP in close proximity to supply constant electricity to the industrial hub,” and the need to “woo a brand of vehicle and enable it to set up an assembly plant in Orerokpe, guarantee the off-take and usage of the cars or vehicles to be manufactured or assembled by the state government, MDAs, and state transport companies, the fleets of cars/utilities vehicles used by the government to be produced or assembled and maintained there will give enough jobs for Delta graduates from existing universities and polytechnics.”

To attract a vehicle assembly plant to the state, Governor Oborevwori should go for a Technology Roadshow in China, Taiwan, etc and use steady power supply and equity funding to woo manufacturers of vehicle parts, lithium batteries, glass, ceramics, brake pads, tyres, and so on to set up factories in the industrial hub. Alternatively, Asedegbega further advised Gov. Oborevwori “to collaborate with private and foreign investors (preferably Chinese) to set up 5,000 hectares of oil palm plantation with end-to-end refinery on the dry land designated for the university in Orerokpe. End-to-end means every product coming from the farm will be converted into industrial uses – oil, soap, animal feeds, etc to attain a huge chain of productions. This alone will create over 1,000 jobs, increase state IGR, and open up Orerokpe for development.”

But in a rhetorical twist to governance conundrum in the country, Asedegbega asked and gave answers to questions that are the heart of governance failure generally in Nigeria: “Does Delta State have the resources and capacity to execute an industrial hub? Yes, it does! Delta State got over N31 billion from the federal allocation account in January alone. But will the state do it? The answer is NO. Why? Because we are used to “quick-fix” and squandering of public funds in the name of audio empowerment and grassroots mobilization. The plans of Nigerian political elites never go beyond 4 – 4 tenure; so we’re always in a hurry to grab what we can get through construction of quack solar street lights, bridges and roads, thereby keeping the states underdeveloped.

“My dearest Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, let Delta State University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, breathe. Let Isoko Ethnic Nationality breathe. If you want to succeed and really wish to turn Delta State from consumption to production hub, seek advice from non-political quarters.”

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