Member representing Umunneochi State Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly, Barr Phillip Okey Igwe, has set up what he termed Constituency Farming in his constituency as an alternative to the nation’s over-reliance on oil and as a way of providing jobs for the teeming youths of his area.
The lawmaker made this known while addressing his colleagues at the 7th Abia State House of Assembly during Plenary on Tuesday. He lamented a situation where many members of his constituency graduate from higher institutions across the federation every year without the prospect of getting jobs. To help in resolving the issue, he decided to set up the constituency farming to gainfully engage some of them.
“Most of our youths are unemployed. One of the challenges we are facing is that we have young men and women who have graduated from higher institutions and they inundate me with their CVs for the possibility of securing jobs for them. Part of the tragedy of our nationhood is that we abandoned farming and agriculture as soon as we discovered oil. From my own estimation, oil has done us more harm than good. So I told my constituents that I want to make farming fashionable again. It is not a popular idea, I must say, but I think it is the way to go.
“I have appointed some of my constituents to assist me in this constituency farming. We want to set up farms to engage our people, and it is based on this that I call on Mr Speaker and Honourable Colleagues to support us by giving us fertilizer, modern farming equipment and such other items we will need to make this agricultural project a success”, he said.
Responding, the Speaker, Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, thanked the lawmaker for his innovation and expressed confidence in his ability to lead his constituents well following his establishment of the constituency farming. He promised to invest in the project and also urged other lawmakers to do the same. “Having come from an agrarian area, your project is an important one, so we will not hesitate to support you as investors with confidence in your managerial prowess that will yield the expected returns”.
Barr Okey Igwe also announced the untimely demise of Hon Valentine Nwankwo, aka Nwa Fada, a staunch member of the PDP in Umunneochi, who died at the age of 48. He described the deceased as “a good party man who loved to serve his people with so much dedication”.