As a way of sustaining the nascent peace in the Niger Delta region, the Warri-Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group (WIPMG) has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently intervene in the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko and the Escravos Export Processing Zone (EPZ) projects.
The group stated this recently in a release signed by their Chairman, Chief Patrick Bigha and made available to GbaramatuVoice.
According to the group, ensuring that these projects are kick-started is aimed at reducing poverty in the coastal areas of the Niger Delta region.
Chief Bigha added that it is the groups’ opinion that these projects take off immediately as it will not only reduce poverty in the region but will also add value to the well-being of Nigerians now that the country just exited recession.
In the light of the above, the release added that the Nigeria Maritime University is one good thing that has happened to the people of the region as it will go a long way addressing the low standard of education of the average coastal dweller in the region.
In the same manner, the group opined that the university will empower the people to be self-reliant and seek alternative means of livelihood as the current occupational means of fishing and farming has been destroyed by crude oil exploration and exploitation activities in the last five decades.
In a related development, the chairman of the group, Chief Bigha, stressed that the same goodwill will be experienced in the Escravos Export Processing Zone (EPZ) which has the Gbaramatu Deep-Sea Port and the Ogidigben Gas City.
He added that the socioeconomic value of these projects cannot be over emphasized as the immediate and long-term benefits are enormous.
In his words, “There will be sustainable peace and development in the region and in Nigeria generally as so many skilled and unskilled laborers will be engaged in the project.
In the same fashion, the statement announced that over 150,000 men and women will be engaged at the construction level alone, adding that this project alone can address the precarious unemployment situation in the country.
“Identically, when the project is completed, about 500,000 direct and indirect staff will be engaged. There will be an unprecedented industrial revolution in Nigeria.
While acknowledging the recent earmarking of the sum of two billion naira for the smooth take-off of the university as stated by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Oshibanjo, they encouraged the Federal Government not to falter or renege in the earlier agreed terms and conditions.
The group, therefore, advised the present administration not to undermine these projects as they will speedily nip the current economic hardship of Nigerians in the bud while trusting that the Federal Government will take these issues raised seriously.