Idumuje Ugboko, Onicha Ugbo Youths Count The Gains Of Ned’s Investments In The Area.
By Iroroh Frank
The 3rd Ned Nwoko Foundation’s Golf Classic held on 23rd November, and other activities that followed within same period at the exotic Tourist Resort of the Star Prince of Anioma land, provided opportunity for me to interact with some youths from the host community, Idumuje Ugboko and neighbouring Onicha Ugbo community
There is no second guessing the fact that the Anioma born billionaire education and tourism investor, had pumped billions of US dollars of his hard earned incomes into the development of this monument in his community, Idumuje Ugboko.
Investments which many of his contemporary would preferred sited at Dubai, New York or even in London, Abuja or Largos, where they would ripped quick and huge investment returns. But Ned, being who he is, does not play to the script, as his own man, he decided what is good for the interest of his people. He felt that the wealth God gave him was meant to elevate his people from the shackles of penury and wants. He believes his place of birth, the community where he was nurtured, deserved to be on global spotlights and so, he chose to invest his wealth into building monuments similar to what he had seen in other countries. Monuments that will attract visitors to in his rural community generations to come, to provide long lasting economic lifeline for the people of his birth place.
The Mount Ned Nwoko Tourist and Cultural Centre is listed by both Delta State and Federal Government of Nigeria as an incredible all round tourist site.
The proposed Sports, Technology, Arts and Research Science (STARS), University will be the first of its kind in Africa, west of Sahara. These two multi billion dollars edifices were sited in his community for the purposes of changing the socioeconomic lives of the people of the community and their neighbours.
It is a fact that ordinary Nigerians do not really know the values of tourism, and that many may considered the idea of building a monument, where people could come, play and go, as nonsensical.
This notion is understandable because, many people in the rural areas do not understand how to take advantage of such site to general wealth for themselves and uplift their living standard.
Many people do not know that living within the neighbourhood of a tourist site, means economic boom.
So, on that 23rd day of November, my curiosity prompted me to gauge the minds of the youths of the area. To find out whether there exist indicators to show that the huge investments of Hon Prince Ned Nwoko, are having impacts in the economic and social live of the people.
The topic was a simple question. What impact is Hon Prince Ned Nwoko’s huge capital investments in Idumuje Ugboko, having on the socioeconomic life in the community and its environs?
My first contact to direct the question to was a young man, who introduced himself as Chukwuma from Onicha Ugbo. Chukwuma was delighted to speak to me knowing fully well that whatever he told me will be podcast on the social media globally.
Chukwuma bares his mind, ‘my community, Onicha Ugbo, is benefiting a lot from Oga’s developmental efforts in this area. As you can see, Onicha Ugbo is the point of entrance to Idumuje Ugboko. Anybody coming here must pass through it and I must confess to you that there is always business boom anytime Oga is around.
You can ask shop owners along the road, find out from beer sellers, restaurants and bars operators, they will repeat what I have told you.
Further, he said, ‘now let us look at Okada operators, Okada owners look forward for Oga’s coming to town, because it means more earnings. In fact a friend of mine, who operates Okada, once today me that he made 10k a day during the election period. You know, during the election period, this compound was like Mecca. A lot of people where trouping here. Some of them do stopped at my community for refreshment.
My community has been ripping a lots of gains of Oga’s presence.
Of course you know that he will not be here if he had no investments here and we are hoping and praying that the University will take off soon because when it starts off, businesses will increase tremendously in my comm
Foreign tourists do stopover to pick one or two things from shops in my community….The young man was about to conclude his comments when he was interrupted by a youth from Idumuje Ugboko, who have been eavesdropping on our conversation, and who was anxiously waiting for his turn to speak to me.
He steps in, and said, ‘hello, Oga, are you a journalist? To which I affirmed that I am a blogger. He then rhetorically asked, ‘I hope you will publish what I am about to say? I nod in assurance.
Then he said, I am Fred, I am from this community, our Oga is a blessing to our people. We the youths take him as a mesiah who God sent to remove poverty from our community.’
He continue, ‘what we are benefiting from his investments are too enamous to recount.’ He said emphatically.
To buttress his points, Fred said, ‘about a thousand youths are currently engaged in the construction work in the University. Some are subcontractors, some are engaged in security, these youths are well paid. They are taking good care of their family and taking care of their children’s education fees.
Continuing he added, ‘at the community level, social life have returned to the community. Come to the town on weekends, you will see grooves everywhere. People now have extra changes to flex. So Oga is a blessing to us.’
To be continued