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PANDEF asks Niger Delta region to find alternative to oil

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
01 December 2021   |   2:53 am
PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has asked Niger Delta region and southern part of the country to begin a search for an alternative to oil as economic mainstay.

PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has asked the Niger Delta region and southern part of the country to begin a search for an alternative to oil as an economic mainstay.

PANDEF’s National President, Senator Emmanuel Essien, said the move had become imperative to put the region on the path of development, peace and progress.

Essien stated this, yesterday, in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of local government executive committees of PANDEF and the official opening of its Rivers State office.

He advised the people to adopt a main economic base to replace oil, which, he noted, was fast losing economic attraction.

He said: “In the next few years, the world may not be driven by oil coming from the Niger Delta region. It may become obsolete in a few years because electric engines are being developed to replace combustible engines.

“Even for airplanes, they are developing electric engines to fly planes, which means that in the next few years, they may not need fuel. So, what will the Niger Delta become in the next few years? We have to look beyond the oil in the region. We have to think beyond the oil.”

Earlier in his welcome address, Chairman of PANDEF in Rivers State and former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah (rtd), said the activities, programmes and policies of the group were premised primarily on peace, unity and development of the Niger Delta region.

Minimah said: “Suffice it to say that the role of PANDEF, its ideals and objectives are all premised, primarily, on the unity, peace and development of the Niger Delta region.

“I believe we all chose to be here because of our shared passion for the region, the people and our desire to be part of efforts to change the damning directives.

“In the coming months, we will do our best to build on the events of today and endeavour to entrench PANDEF at the grassroots with the message of unity, peace and development.”

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