NKEREFI: Underdevelopment killing Enugu’s food basket

Palm-OilThe people of Nkerefi, in Enugu State has decried the level of infrastructural underdevelopment being suffered by the community. The community, under the aegis of Nkerefi Youth Congress, the community lamented the utter neglect of the community by both the Federal Government and state. This was contained in a press statement signed by the group’s president Mr Chidiebere Onu and Secretary-General, Anih Monday-Diamond.
While welcoming the Enugu State Governor from his leave, they called on the Government to attend to their needs, which has become an urgent concern.
The four-page release stated that from the early 1960s, Nkerefi community, located in Nkanu East Local Council has been a major source of food items for the whole of the old Eastern Nigeria, which stretches from Anambra to Bayelsa State. It further stated that Enugu State is richer for Nkerefi, which is largely responsible for high quality yams, garri, palm oil, cocoyams, vegetables and other food condiments. It called on the governor, Sullivan Chime and Mr President, Goodluck Jonathan to come to their aid.
“Nkerefi is an agrarian community located in Nkanu East, a border town with Uburu, in Ebonyi State. It houses over 250, 000 people, including immigrant traders, cattle rearers from the North, and farmers. Nkerefi is a hardworking community and is responsible for over 30 percent of garri, palm oil, yam and cocoyams, and other food items produced in Enugu State. Despite the constant migration of young people away from rural communities, our people have stuck to their trade of providing food security in their own little way. Despite the fact that trailers come all the way from big markets in Enugu, Onitsha and Port Harcourt to buy foods from our market, our roads are in very bad state of disrepair. When the last administration of Chimaroke Nnamani was rehabilitating other roads in Nkanu East, ours, which is a border road with Ebonyi was the only neglected road. What was more painful was the fact that the old road scraped off, but nothing was done, and the result was dust, and mud spoiling motor vehicles driving into our community.
“Nkerefi, although with electric connections all over, has not had electricity in the past one year. What is the use of cables and poles without electricity? We also lack any form of pipe-borne water. The basic amenities needed by our community are lacking. Our people are basically farmers, but the lack of basic amenities make it quite difficult for us to focus. We are appealing on the good offices of the Federal and State Governments to come to our aid as we are being driven back into the stone age by lack of infrastructure”, the statement pleaded.

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