29 Apr A COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE MAIDEN EDITION OF THE URHOBO ECONOMIC & INVESTMENT GROUP WEBINAR, HELD ON MONDAY 27th APRIL, 2020 BY 11AM
The world is currently in a lurch, facing one of its most overwhelming challenges since the dawn of the 21st century. The novel coronavirus, a disease that has infected millions of people around the world, and claimed tens of thousands lives remains a puzzle that the world is yet to unravel. Sadly, Nigeria is in the league of affected countries and the outbreak of the virus in the country has necessitated the shutting of most human activities in the past weeks, with dire socio-economic implications. The Urhobo nation is not insulated from the debilitating effects associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, as the socio-economic activities of its sons and daughters have also been negatively affected.
In a bid to ensure that the Urhobo people are well positioned to overcome the festering health and socio-economic challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Urhobo Economic and Investment Group (UEIG) organized its maiden webinar themed: 'The impact of COVID-19 on the Economy of the Urhobo Nation'.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the Urhobo nation with debilitating effects on the socio-economic activities of our people. However, the health and safety of all Urhobos and other Nigerians in Urhobo land remains an utmost priority. Therefore, everyone should pay adequate attention to all Covid-19 safety guidelines such as wearing of face masks, washing hands with soap under running water at regular intervals, use of alcohol-based sanitizer, practice social distancing and personal hygiene.
- As part of strategic response to the harsh effect of the pandemic, Urhobo people must build, nurture and maintain strong socio-economic bonds evident in their cooperation and collaboration among themselves as there is strength in unity.
- MSMEs operating in Urhobo land should register their business entities with the Corporate Affairs Commission, and maintain a well-structured system and operation for sustainable growth and development.
- A Free Trade Zone with constant electricity supply should be established in Delta State to host petrochemical and allied industries, food processing plants and other economic activities that will promote opportunities in Urhobo land. We encourage Urhobo Leaders to use their vast network to help with the establishment of free trade zone in Urhoboland.
- Urhobo farmers should be encouraged to form cooperative societies that will enable them have access to financial opportunities and build their capital base. Those still practising subsistence farming should urgently consider the more beneficial option of going into large scale cultivation of both food and cash crops.
- Fertilizer plants should be established in Delta State and efforts should be made to re-engage experts leaving the oil industry as a result of the current challenges in the sector.
- There is need to diversify our investment focus to other critical sectors especially technology based investments, given that the next generation of businesses will be largely technology driven.. Essentially too, Urhobo youths should think outside the box and find ways to take their businesses online as there are great marketing potentials on the Internet.