…Seeks Collaboration To Industrialize Rivers LGAs
The Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialist (NASSI) is seeking collaboration with the Rivers State Government and the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme (HYPREP) to carry out the remediation project for the impacted Ogoni sites using a local plant.
NASSI Chairman in Rivers State, Captain-Briggs Dokubo who stated this in an interview with National Network on Monday, said the plant known as Pro-Poor Jatropha has been empirically proven and had the potency to mop-up the spilled terrain and put the lands into productive usages.
He said that the plant also possesses the capacity of growing in very difficult terrain, adding that when Jatropha is planted on the spilled terrain, the plant would bring life back to those hitherto dead surfaces.
The state NASSI boss said the proposal was apt because of its socio-economic advantage both to the Ogoni people, HYPREP as well as the government, stressing the need to exploit the advantage of utilizing the 'wonder plant', even as he assured that some parts of Ogoniland would be used as test case for the experimentation.
“Pro-Poor Jatropha is a plant that was hitherto seen as a waste. It is only useful for farmers who have to fence off some delicate crops.
“But we were able to put to fore the fact that that plant is much more than that because the plant will remediate and is also good for fighting desertification”, he said.
Captain-Briggs believed that working with HYPREP on the Ogoni remediation project would end its search for partnership to develop a demonstration farm for the Jatropha experimentation.
Another salient benefit of the plant, according to him, is that it houses the oil extract for bar fuel, adding, “Today the world is talking about green energy”.
On NASSI's module for business development in the local government areas, the State Chairman said plans are underway to bring to fruition a 'NASSI Village' which was conceptualized by his predecessor.
He said although his predecessor envisioned a 'one business cluster per LG', he felt the need to expand it to 'three business clusters' to accommodate the three Senatorial Districts in the State.
“We are proposing the development of 45 mega watts of power distributed 15 mega watts per senatorial district”, he said, adding that these would aid establishment of industries in the LGAs.
“We are of the opinion that the LGAs should be our industrial hub because of the massive unemployment and so if we concentrate industries in the LGAs, we would have mopped-up these job seekers that have become the willing tools in the hands of mischief makers”, he said.
Captain-Briggs said the association is also seeking collaboration with the Rivers State Government to drive a policy of one industry per local government and 20 small businesses as feeder businesses to the industries.