Stakeholders parley on economic development in Niger Delta
Niger Delta stakeholders have declared that the region will remain underdeveloped unless the majority of its people are allowed free access to do business on its waterways.
This position was put forward at a lecture to mark the third yearly Online Publishers’ Forum held in Asaba at the weekend.
They said the region, being the mainstay of the nation’s economy, should have urged the Federal Government to focus more on the development of the area rather than restrict access to its limited land space by declaring it a no-go area.
A former Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, was Guest Speaker at the lecture themed, ‘Niger Delta Economy: Building A New Face For The Region’.
He said the continuous tagging of the region as a ‘Red Zone by the international community is unacceptable. He said the region could be moved from its current underdeveloped phase to one where human capital development goes along with other indices of human development.
He said: “We have a lot of people in Escravos working in the Niger Delta but they are paying taxes to the government outside Niger Delta, thereby subjecting us to unjustifiable oppression year-in-year-out.” He also called for concerted efforts to diversify the economic fortune of the region.
Also speaking, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa called for the continuous development of youths through skill acquisition. He noted that states in the region have agreed to work more closely to improve the lives of the people and grow the economy.