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N’Delta needs N600bn annually for development

Oil spill in Niger Delta

The Niger Delta Youth Parliament has said that the oil producing region needs about N600bn yearly to fight poverty, put in place basic infrastructure and ensure quick development.

The NDYP stated that for the region to experience massive development, the N600bn should be released consistently for the next 10 years.

The National Coordinator of the group, Mr. Imoh Okoko, observed that funds released to the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of Niger Delta were not enough to bring about speedy development of the area.

Okoko explained that the sum of N600bn should be released to development agencies in the region, adding that with the rate of environmental degradation in the area, anything less than the amount would be inadequate.

He pointed out that the people of the area had hoped that by now, their region would have being a reference point for infrastructural development.

Okoko said, “The level of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta is alarming. Apart from the absence of basic infrastructure, continued oil exploration is adversely affecting the region.

“Surprisingly, everybody is behaving as if all is well. When we talk of the development of the Niger Delta region, we mean that apart from the funds given to repentant militants, the area should be physically developed.”

He added, “During rainy seasons, we in the Niger Delta find it difficult to come out because of the bad roads that are full of gullies. That is not what we bargained for when we called for the massive development of the Niger Delta region.

“For us to get to the level we should be, the region needs at least N600bn every year to solve the problem of poverty and lack of basic infrastructure.”

Explaining that the level of Federal Government’s commitment to the growth of the region was not encouraging, the NDYP coordinator expressed the need for the government to be more dedicated to issues affecting the Niger Delta.

Okoko also expressed the need for other states of the federation to explore other areas they could contribute to the development of the country rather than relying on oil revenue from the Niger Delta.

-Punch

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Posted by on Mar 30 2012. Filed under Niger Delta. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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