By Comrade James Lukpata
If having huge population is a condition for improved standard of living, residents of Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, should be in a bliss by now. Unfortunately, it is not. Rather, the problems facing residents of the area are as enormous as its population.
With two constituencies, Yala is the second most populated LGA in Cross-River State, coming after Akpabuyo. The LGA lacks basic social amenities such as good road network, portable water and ultra-modern hospital. But for neighboring Ogoja LGA, the indigenous people of Yala would have no-where to either withdraw or deposit money for the simple reason that no single bank is found across the length and breadth of the LGA not to talk of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) stand.
Ironically, the Yala LGA boasts of prominent figures who have various top-notch political offices in the country. From, Senators, House of Representatives members, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Deputy Governor, Chief of Staff to the state government among others; the list is endless.
It is therefore regrettable that none of these illustrious sons and daughters of Yala have thought it wise to consider the establishment of at least one of these new generations banks and ATM stand that could serves as a cash point to ease the age-long difficulty in transacting business among the populace.
Which in commercial places like Lagos, Port Harcourt and Onitsha, among others in the country can boast of five ATM stands within a single shopping mall, supermarket or restaurant, there is nothing close to the size of one smallest community that constitute Yala LGA.
Again, smaller states like Ebonyi in the South-East and Ekiti in the South-West can boast of having banks and ATM stands spread across the various LGAs, but the political leaders and the business class in Yala prefer to patronize the neighboring Ogoja LGA rather than making concerted effort to fixing Yala through the establishment of financial institutions like banks that can boost economic activities and increase the revenue for the LGA as well as employment opportunity for the people.
In virtually every political dispensation in Nigeria Yala has representatives at both federal and state levels yet no impact due to lack of political will coupled with self-centeredness that has become a norm in the Nigerian political Parlance. All hands must be on deck, leaders across various levels, political representatives and the business class must rise from their slumber and think big for Yala LGA and how they can make her become great like the neighbouring Ogoja LGA in terms of good road network, modern hospital and financial institutions and even higher institutions of learning like technical college, polytechnics and universities to mention but a few.
We must bring our intellectual prowess to bear by learning from others positive ethos that can bring the greatest good with the view to improving the plight of Yala LGA inhabitants. May God bless Yala LGA.