Friday, 9th of November, 2022 will be remarkable in the annals of the history of Kogi state as the leading gubernatorial aspirant for the 2023 governorship election, Dr Samson Agada Omale of the Labour Party consulted with Kogites from all walks of life at a dinner event that was well attended by Kogites from various disciplines at the African Restaurant of the Chida Hotels and event center, Utako Abuja.
Dr Samsom Agada Omale, the dinner host, used the occasion to reel out a bundle of plans that would engender the economic growth, livelihood and social development of the state.
Historically, Kogi state, the confluence of opportunities, is the cradle of Nigeria. The only state that plays host to the confluence of the two major rivers in Nigeria. The state has deposits of minerals such as limestone, iron ore, gold, coal, crude oil etc. The economy of the state is largely governed by the environment and has agriculture as its mainstay. Instructively, food crops such as oil palm, kola nut, cocoa, melon, maize, cassava, yam, rice and plantain are in tremendous proportion in Kogi state. This genre of wealth reinforces what Thomas Jefferson meant when said that, ‘Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.’
In truth, Kogi state stands to benefit tremendously from Dr Samson Agada Omale’s economic plans for the state.
Dr Samson Agada lamented the current abject situation of the state despite its rich array of abundant mineral resources. What are the people of Kogi expecting to hear from the seasoned entrepreneur and gubernatorial aspirant of the Labour party, Dr Sam Agada Omale?
First, he noted that each time he drives through the length and breadth of Kogi state, he weeps, seeing so much resources in one place and yet the people are going through untold hardship.
He used the occasion to introduce his flagship development program, ‘The Kogi Partnership Development International’. This, according to him, is the birthplace of Dr Sam Agada Omale’s economic development blueprint which features poverty reduction and improved standard of living and security, among others as key components.
Globally, investment in agriculture and MSMEs are some of the ways nations, particularly the newly industrialized countries of South East Asia, have reduced poverty and improved standard of living of their people.
He went ahead to enumerate how he intends to leverage on this rich and robust economic blueprint and the abundant resources in Kogi state to create wealth and reduce poverty.
Secondly, being a captain of industry and an entrepreneur of no mean repute, Dr Sam Agada Omale told his guests the people of Kogi state how he intends to encourage the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
In his 2022 message, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres said that ‘micro, small and medium-sized enterprises represent around 90 per cent of global businesses, more than 60 percent of employment and half of GDP worldwide.’
The Dr Sam Agada Omale administration, according to him, will be strong on MSMEs using it as a vehicle for socioeconomic transformation of Kogi state.
He gave the example of Rwanda where he visited a while ago, on how MSMEs were used to drive the economy to its current robust state.
As a corollary, Dr Sam Agada Omale has grown several SMEs in the last 30 years and has shown capacity in the running of businesses. The story of the Rock Global Group which he began in London with just himself as the only staff and grew it to be a conglomerate in 25 years is a case in point.
Dr Sam Agada Omale emphasized that he would leverage on his experience to create an economy that is driven by SMEs in Kogi state.
Dr Sam Agada Omale also laid emphasis on youth development. He believes that youths are the engine of growth and development because they provide the labour force for production of goods and services; and should be empowered through skills acquisition, talent redevelopment and entrepreneurship.
He emphasized the training and retraining of the youths and organizing skill acquisition programmes for them so they can have a source of livelihood.
What the gubernatorial aspirant implies is that his administration will have a functional partnership and engagement with youths and all stake holders across board in the state.
In this connection, Dr Sam Agada Omale reiterated the urgent need to develop and redevelop the abundant human resources in the state to be productive in the new emerging economy of Kogi State.
He declared; “we shall turn potential to profitability”. These, according to him, no one can do it alone, it requires the collective effort of all well meaning Kogites to come together to make the vision a reality.
Several of the guests took turns to make comments, suggestions and advices to the aspirant and one common thread in all the responses is the agreement that kogi state is gasping for breath and needs help and especially with strong promises to join force to urgently develop the state.
The event ended with an action plan to as a matter of urgency, establish the ‘The Kogi Partnership Development International’ and commence full implementation of its vision and mission.
Finally, as sociological scholars believe, ‘man is the most pivotal agent of change’ As an agent of change, Dr Sam Agada Omale has through his antecedents, integrity and personality demonstrated that he’s in tune with humanity and it’s needs- and, therefore, has made himself a ready tool to be used to give the good people of Kogi state a sustainable future.
A big congratulations to the beautiful people of Kogi State as something big is about to happen.
– Eneojo Herbert Idakwo, a development journalist and PR expert and campaigner, writes from Abuja.