Missing Packages

For some reason, I cannot get packages to show up in the sysupgrade binary.

My openwrt .config file has:
CONFIG_PACKAGE_libubox-lua is not set

Nothing is populated in the build_dir and this coincides with nothing in the output image.
libubox.a and libubox.so do not appear in the above location.

The files do show up in the below location, but not the root-fs.
they show up here --> ~/test/git/openwrt/staging_dir/target-mips_24kc_musl/usr/lib
but not here --> ~/test/git/openwrt/staging_dir/target-mips_24kc_musl/root-ath79/usr/lib

Is there something I could be doing wrong? Any other useful data I can provide to debug this?