Security expert, Mayor Felix Amah Nnachi, was recently elected president, Development Association of Ebonyi State, Lagos Chapter. In this interview, he spoke on why consumption of home grown staples like Abakaliki Rice can grow the economy and other issues.
What are your programmes for Ebonyi State indigenes resident in Lagos?
The first thing to do is to create an enduring administrative and operational leadership structure. Secondly, we want to review our constitution so that we can have a workable constitution defining in clear terms our vision and mission, duties and responsibilities, qualifications, welfare and benefits, sources of funds and other developmental issues affecting Ebonyi people in Lagos.
We have a lot of programmes for 2020. They include empowerment and skills development; youths and sports development, educational, transportation and infrastructural development in terms of having a functional secretariat.
We cannot make any meaningful progress without the support of our state government under the leadership of our digital Governor David Nweze Umahi. We cannot also make progress without the support of our Ebonyi elder statesmen and women, professional and business moguls and other stakeholders resident in Lagos who have distinguished themselves in their various fields.
We will therefore, align, partner with and tap from their wisdom and wealth of experience to ensure peaceful co-existence. We will support and align to the programmes of Umahi, who was recently given an award as the Best Performing Governor in Nigeria and by extension Africa.
How well do you think Ebonyi State can key into the ban on importation of rice?
Before now our rice, “Abakaliki Rice,” which is highly nutritious has gained acceptability in the market and consumed by many Nigerians.
What we as Ebonyians and government can do is to increase the production base from an annual or seasonal production circle to a quarterly production circle with high yielding rice seeds on well irrigated soils using improved technology. This will help in sustaining the demand base.
Umahi recently won Business Day Best Performing Governor. What is your take?
It is an award he well deserved having worked and is till working to better the lives of Ebonyi people. His developmental strides across the 13 LGAs are incomparable and unprecedented. His success I think is that he has a good wife he listens to and the wife supports him. He is the millennium leader Nigeria needs. He has repositioned Ebonyi State positively. We expect more from him as our God-sent leader.
Culture is integral part of human development. How do you intend to promote your people’s culture?
Ebonyi people have great cultural heritage. Going by our association’s constitution, we must uphold our rich culture across the different cultural divides. Governor Umahi for the past three years has consistently sponsored, participated and moved all the apparatus of government to the National Stadium in Lagos where we hold our annual cultural day. As new executives we will continue to seek his unflinching support in showcasing our cultural prowess.
How can you maximize the potential of Ebonyi indigenes resident in Lagos in terms of business and participation in politics?
Lagos is the Centre of Excellence but very soon Ebonyi State will take over. There is no doubt that we have in Lagos great Ebonyi citizens with potential in private and public sectors. Under my leadership, we will recognise and partner with them as key stakeholders for guidance, direction and support.
The new executives have been sworn in and I have set the governance structure in motion by appointing a Legal Adviser, local government coordinators, senatorial leaders from the three zones and 10 standing and three ad-hoc committees made up of seven delegates each across the three zones. We are ready to serve our people as community service is the best service you can bequeath to mankind.
We have a compendium of membership based on delegates from the 140 communities in Ebonyi State.
Our email is [email protected] and our website is being created. We earned the support of the people we are leading and other stakeholders to enable great success.