Stake­hold­ers al­lege slow progress in Delta State

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - From Chido Okafor, Warri

STAKE­HOLD­ERS in Delta State have said the state is not de­vel­op­ing as it should.

Hu­man rights ac­tivists, civil so­ci­ety, busi­ness­men, pro­fes­sion­als and lead­ers yes­ter­day spoke at the yearly meet­ing on the polity at the PTI Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, Ef­fu­run in Uwvie Coun­cil of the state.

They at­trib­uted the state’s stunted growth to cor­rup­tion, lack of po­lit­i­cal will, re­lo­ca­tion of Shell Pe­tro­leum De­vel­op­ment Com­pany (SPDC) from Warri, youth restive­ness, poor in­fra­struc­ture, skewed po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and harsh busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

At the meet­ing con­vened by Van­guard for Trans­par­ent Lead­er­ship and Democ­racy (VATLAD), the stake­hold­ers re­viewed the wor­ri­some state of Delta econ­omy and politics, not­ing that the anom­alies were pe­cu­liar to the state.

Ig­bini Em­manuel, Fred­er­ick Mosheshe, Franklin Oseya, Omonigho Robin­son, Vic­tor Ifezue and oth­ers said de­spite the huge re­sources ac­cru­ing to the state it was far be­hind La­gos, Anam­bra and other states who pos­sess lit­tle oil and gas re­sources. Con­demn­ing the pres­sure put on Shell to move out its over 50 years ad­min­is­tra­tive and op­er­a­tions base from Warri to La­gos, they stressed that the de­vel­op­ment led to job losses and de­prived the peo­ple of the economic ben­e­fits from their God-given oil re­sources.

Ac­cord­ing to them, the con­se­quent economic hope­less­ness and re­ces­sion im­posed on Warri led many to crim­i­nal­i­ties, pros­ti­tu­tion and risky jour­neys through Libya to Europe for sur­vival. “This, no doubt, af­fects the im­age of Nige­ria.”

The ground­ing of Warri Sea Port to the ben­e­fit of La­gos, they ob­served, is a fur­ther in­jus­tice against the peo­ple of Delta.

They, there­fore, ap­pealed to Gov­er­nor Ifeanyi Okowa, former gov­er­nors James Ibori, Em­manuel Ud­u­aghan, as well as Great Og­boru, and other lead­ers to put ma­chiner­ies in place to re­turn SPDC to Warri, which they de­scribed as “its most eco­nom­i­cal and nat­u­ral place of ad­min­is­tra­tion and op­er­a­tions.”

Co-founder/chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer, La­gos Dig­i­tal Academy, Kunle Shitu (left); Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment Man­ager, Marie Oko­rie (se­cond left); Founder/man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Do­tun Ba­batunde (se­cond right) and Co-founder/chief Strat­egy Of­fi­cer, Tola Bade­mosi at the me­dia launch of the academy in La­gos…week­end.PHOTO: SUN­DAY AKINLOLU

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