DIDA: The Imperative For A Strategic Agency

BY MONDAY NWAGWU
SINCE creation, the necessity for investment had always been felt in the life of man. This is because, in far more ways than one, investments are vital to him. Aside of helping to measure the organisational capacity of individuals and the society, investments equally help attest to the visionary acumen of man, his community/society, and even organisations and other corporate groups therein. Of course, this is apart from the fact of their effective role as assessment benchmark for the wealth of man, his community and other interests. Investments equally attest to the compliance of man and his society to local and other trends.
It is for reason of this strategic role of investments that man, groups/organisations/establishments and governments devote money, manpower and other vital resources, including time, in the engaging in it.
In Delta State, just as in other parts of the Nigerian federation, the necessity to invest has always been felt; it is important to safeguard and secure the future of the society and its human and other components. This is the real reason that, aside of the more formal sectors as education, health, information, agriculture and housing, governments also invest resources in manpower development-also called human capital enhancement- and other sectors. The goal here is to ensure sustainable wholesome development and growth, and like in most other parts of the developing world, the public sector-more commonly called the government-is the leading investor.
However, while the necessity to invest had always been part of the life and history of man and his society-including Delta State- there have, of late, emerged certain variables that have exacerbated the imperative for deepening the culture of investments.
This has to do with the nature of the national economy, which is primary product- based.
Nigeria’s crude oil-based mono-economy, bashed at the global scene by receding patronage and sliding prices, has, since the middle of 2016, walked into a valley such that, in the light of ebbing receipts from the hydrocarbon source, the individual and corporate constituents of the Nigerian nation have been hard put meeting their otherwise routine obligations.
Evidently, there arose the vital need for prompt remediation action.
In Delta State, this vital need was in the areas of enhancing the tempo of transparency in the system by curbing waste and creating and implementing new UWAGWUmodules for official-and perhaps, individual-engagements.
The dream inherent in this desire finds expression in terms of two broad range of actions and policies-economic diversification and wealth and job creation, as expoused in the SMART Agenda.
For the Okowa administration, economic diversification takes the shape of venture into non-oil sources of personal and official income both for the government and the other diverse interests in the state’s economy.The government, on its own, has taken the path of effective foray into agriculture via not only encouraging the private sector farm holders with cash, technical support and inputs, but has, quite wisely, created a potent new generation of young commercial farmers to, among other things, succeed the ageing generation of largely subsistence farm holders that dot the landscape of the state. This new class of farmers, better known by their local acronym of YAGEPreneurs, constitute a vital investment for the state in lieu of the huge material and other gains of their creation, establishment and flourish. They represent a significant segment of the wealth and job creation arm of the SMART Agenda of the state administration.
As in the wealth and job creation spheres of the government’s policy thrust, the administration has also made significant investments in other sectors-education, health, power and energy, etc.
However, in deep appreciation of the overriding necessity to simultaneously attain two lofty goals of expanding the scope of investments and formalising its precedent processes and procedures, the government has created a specific agency charged with responsibility in this regard , This agency, called the Delta State Investment Development Agency (DIDA), has a humongous mandate that is sure to redefine the investment portfolio in the state by deepening the concept and practice of practical investments via effective liaison with the different stakeholders, especially the organised private sector (OPS). The law establishing the DIDA was signed into being on July 25, 2017.
By its nature, DIDA is expected to market the huge potentials of the state in terms of agriculture, solid minerals, oil and gas, housing development, human capital development via technical and vocational skills enhancement, power and energy, culture and tourism and sundry others. In this sense, DIDA largely holds the ace for the overall economic growth and development of the state over the short, medium and long hauls.

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