The South West Needs To Revitalize The Cocoa Sector —Asiegbu A. Nkpa


I am still wondering what is disturbing the South West Geopolitical Zone from revitalizing the cocoa sector which the late sage Chief Awolowo successfully relied on to build the region. cocoa (just like rubber, palm oil, groundnut and the other major cash crops) certainly has never been, is not, and never will be on the Exclusive List in the Nigerian Constitution.

The fact is that Ogun State, Oyo State, Ondo State, Ekiti State and Osun State currently cannot survive without Federal Government subvention, whereas they were the famous cocoa areas of the region during the Awolowo heyday. The only reason Lagos State can survive independent of the Federal Government subvention is simply because the infrastructure is developed. And those infrastructure were so developed by the Federal Government when Lagos was the national capital … definitely not by regional policy/effort.

Now that five states in the South West Geopolitical Zone are under the progressive party (ACN), and who claim to be Chief AWOLOWO’s disciples, the expectation is that they should collectively revive the cocoa sector which is currently a major money spinner in the international market just as Oil. Cocoa-based economy for the South West Geopolitical Zone will be an advantage because it will not have the oil-associated problems like environmental degradation/pollution, revenue highjack, unemployment, bunkering, militancy, etc.

Such policy thrust will make better sense than the hype of Fiscal Federalism and Sovereign National Conference the various Yoruba leaders are sensationalizing. Otherwise, if there is to be Fiscal Federalism, how can the other five states aside from Lagos State survive? Or if a Sovereign National Conference collapses the current structure towards regional autonomy, can Lagos State alone be capable of subsidising the other five sister states?


•Nkpa writes in from [email protected]

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