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Published On: Thu, Dec 5th, 2019

Olorogun Moses Taiga Laments Gradual Economic Decline In Urhobo Nation

Olorogun Moses Taiga


LAGOS DECEMBER 5TH (URHOBOTODAY)-President General Worldwide of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Olorogun Moses Taiga has lamented the graual economic decline in Urhobo nationt Urhobo as the fourth largest ethnic group in the most populous black nation on earth.
He said it is not a thing of joy that Urhobo nationa that had conquered the social and educational disadvantages of the 1930s and 1940s, and have highly qualified and well-celebrated professionals in every sphere of life had not fared well economically, but seems to be witnessing a gradual decline.
Taiga who made the observation while delivering a welcome address at the Urhobo Economic Summit held on Thursday at Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamuge, Agbarho, Delta State queried, “ For example, where is the AT & P Timber factory, which at the time was the largest in the world? Where are our Rubber and Oil Palm Plantations? Where are the famed Urhobo-owned Breweries? Why has there been a surge in criminal activities in Urhoboland, especially among the youths since the turn of the 21st Century? Why is politics now seen as the only way “to make it and arrive” by youths and adults alike? Why has the Urhobo economy been reduced to a ‘buying and selling’ one? Where did we go wrong? How do we steer the Urhobo Nation on the path of economic growth and prosperity? These and many other questions are begging for answers.”
To address these questions, Taiga said the summit decided to present four prominent professionals and patriotic Urhobo personalities, namely Chief (Dr.) Goodie M. Ibru, Professor Malachy Oghenovo Akoroda, Prof. Vremudia Diejomaoh and Mr. Robert Itawa to educate Urhobos on how to revive its lost economic pride.
No doubt the aforementioned professionals did justice to the their different topics where they advised Urhobos to reorganized themselves in all spheres of educational advantages, self-reliance in food, material, industrial productions and above all create peaceful atmosphere to encourage foreign investments.
The economic summit is part of activities line by UPU for its 88th Congress. There will also be an election on Friday to usher in a new executive to pilot the affairs of the union for the next three years.
The President General of UPU, Olorogun Moses Taiga, who is seeking re-election, will also give an account of his stewardship over the last three years.
The 88th Congress, which has as chief host the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and the Delta State Governor, Dr.Ifeanyi Okowa, as special guest, will also witness cultural displays by all the 24 Kingdoms of Urhobo.
The congress will end on December 8 with an interdenominational service. All the activities will take place at the Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamughe-Agbarho, Delta State.

SEE FULL SPEECH BELOW:

WELCOME ADDRESS BY OLOROGUN (DR.) MOSES. O. TAIGA, JP, PRESIDENT-GENERAL, URHOBO PROGRESS UNION, WORLDWIDE AT URHOBO ECONOMIC SUMMIT, HELD ON THURSDAY 5TH NOVEMBER AT URHOBO CULTURAL CENTRE, UVWIAMUGE-AGBARHO,

It is a great honour to welcome you all to the Urhobo Cultural Centre, Uvwiamuge-Agbarho for this maiden edition of the Urhobo Economic Summit organized by the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide. On behalf of the National Executive Council of UPU, I would like to thank everyone for finding time to participate in this grand event.
On the 27th and 28th of November, 1998 at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, Delta State, a group of Urhobo patriots, under the aegis of Urhobo Foundation, organized the First Urhobo Economic Summit, with the theme, “Forty Years of Oil and Gas.” In the Communiqué released, the Summit, at the time, noted, among other things, the marginalization of the Urhobos in all spheres of the nation’s political and economic life in spite of oil and gas exploitation in Urhobo land, economic enslavement of the oil producing areas and the “movement of corporate headquarters of the oil companies from their zones of operations, thereby making it very difficult for the indigenes in the Oil producing areas to secure employment.” The First Urhobo Economic Summit, in lamenting the marginalisation of Urhobo people in government parastatals and oil companies, also called for the establishment of “Urhobo Empowerment Committee that will tackle all issues of marginalization” in these Oil companies and government establishments. Twenty years after this grand summit by Urhobo Foundation, how has Urhobo fared?
As the fourth largest ethnic group in the most populous black nation on earth, I must admit, that while we have conquered the social and educational disadvantages of the 1930s and 1940s, and have highly qualified and well-celebrated professionals in every sphere of life, the Urhobo Nation has not fared well economically, but seems to be witnessing a gradual decline. For example, where is the AT & P Timber factory, which at the time was the largest in the world? Where are our Rubber and Oil Palm Plantations? Where are the famed Urhobo-owned Breweries? Why has there been a surge in criminal activities in Urhoboland, especially among the youths since the turn of the 21st Century? Why is politics now seen as the only way “to make it and arrive” by youths and adults alike? Why has the Urhobo economy been reduced to a ‘buying and selling’ one? Where did we go wrong? How do we steer the Urhobo Nation on the path of economic growth and prosperity? These and many other questions are begging for answers.
To address these questions at this summit are four prominent professionals and patriotic Urhobo personalities, namely:
• Chief (Dr.) Goodie M. Ibru, OON, founder of Ikeja Hotel Plc, owners of Sheraton Lagos Hotel and Towers; The Tourist Company of Nigeria, owners of Federal Palace Hotel and Casino; Hans Gremlin Nigeria Limited, which acquired 51% equity stake in Capital Hotels Plc, owners of Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers; past President, Nigeria Stock Exchange, past President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and former Chairman, Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc.
• Professor Malachy Oghenovo Akoroda, Professor of Agronomy, University of Ibadan (UI), Director, international Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan; and past Executive Director, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN)
• Prof. Vremudia Diejomaoh, a retired Professor of Economics, University of Lagos, former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan; and former Deputy Director-General, International Labour Organisation (ILO), and
• Mr. Robert Itawa, Executive Director, Capital Hotels Plc, owners of Sheraton Abuja Hotel.
We look forward to thought-provoking presentations by these eminent personalities, even as I thank them for honouring the UPU and Urhobo Nation in sacrificing their time and busy schedules.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as these great Urhobo personalities present their thoughts, I like to urge that each and every one of us as Urhobos do a thorough self-examination of our roles in the economic dilemma presently facing the Urhobo nation. Have we provided the enabling environment for a thriving Urhobo economy? What role have we played in attracting investments, industries and other employment-generating establishments to our communities and Kingdoms? Are we active participants in any economic and industrial activity that continues to degrade and pollute our environment, especially our rivers and farm lands, thereby destroying our people’s source of food and livelihood, and putting the health and well-being of present and future generations of Urhobo at great risk? Are we willing to put the economic interest of Urhobo Nation above our personal and commercial interests for a greater, better, secured and more prosperous Urhobo land? Ladies and Gentlemen, the state of Urhobo’s economy indeed calls for sober reflection by all.
I thank you again for your attendance here today. I hereby declare this summit open.
Thank you.

OLOROGUN (DR.) MOSES OGHENERUME TAIGA, JP
18, Okere Road,
Warri,
Delta State

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