Nigeria, as we all know is heavily endowed with natural resources of various and diverse kinds. There are states in this country that appear to have gotten more resources than others and Benue state is one of them. Within and outside the country, Benue is known as the food basket state. The God of the universe has indeed blessed Benue with food of different types and in large quantities too but how to translate this singular advantage to a blessing indeed has remained a problem over the years. It is actually a jinxed situation but KURAUNISM is the political force strategically wired for the purpose of putting an end to this annoying anomaly.
It is totally an aberration to live by the river side and yet wash your face with spittle all the time. The story of Benue’s challenge of managing her God-given agricultural advantages has surprised outsiders for many years. The several attempts made by previous administrations to even involve experts from other climes have not been successful enough, especially with the prevailing security situation in the state then. Embedded in KURAUNISM is the compulsory desire to do things differently and get the best results. This requires a thorough appraisal of a given situation and the creation of strategic policies and programmes to tackle it headlong.
The 23 local governments in Benue state will experience a new lease of life when government policies and programmes lead to the creation of conducive environments for the exploitation of their various agricultural products. One major challenge that has dealt with the state’s agricultural policies is the inability to preserve or process some of these products into another form in order to be used any time. Where are the silos preserving grains and other food items in the state and in how many places are they located?
Where are the fruits and oil processing industries in Benue? What happened to that company producing vegetable oil and other allied products in Taraku which complemented the then Benue Cement Company ? What must be done to the areas where mineral resources are found? Shouldn’t a state government be at the forefront of revamping such economic concern s through deliberate policies in order to enhance stability and increase the level of production in the subsector?.Yes, we are not just talking about agro based activities here; we are looking at having an industrial cluster or two in areas where mineral resources are found in very large quantities…
The economic hubs are not just agro based alone but they are more like the basis for the creation of policies to sustain other viable economic activities in any of the local governments with dual resources like food and mineral resources. The economic woes of Benue can come to an abrupt end where the good people of Benue decides to think outside the box and do things differently this time around. A circle that does not bring change but celebrate stagnation and lack should not be appreciated.
An economic hub is very possible in each of the 23 local government areas of Benue. An industrial cluster is also a reality and with these, Benue state can lift up her head with pride in the midst of other states in a few years from now. Everything is possible with the people’s consent or approval. KURAUNISM is an ideology that tenaciously believes in the involvement of the people for a change. Benue deserves the best and must lead the way in the North Central or Middle Belt. A change is possible through the involvement of everyone and KURAUNISM is the veritable platform available for this monumental and momentous decision ever.
Emeka Ozo Umeh is a Lawyer, Jurist , Writer, Historian and Political Philosopher.