GOVERNMENT OF RIVERS STATE OF NIGERIA OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR
THE NIGER DELTA IS IMPORTANT FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT – Wike
The Rivers State Government says the Niger Delta is the main area and region for oil production and development in Nigeria.
Governor Wike stated this during the launch of “Defiant Embers” a documentary highlighting the economic opportunities in the Niger Delta, organized by the British High Commission in Nigeria at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, on Friday 22nd June 2018.
Represented by his Deputy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Governor Wike said despite the fact that the oil-rich region is the source of 70% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, over 70% of the population in the region live on an average of less than US$2 a day.
He said Rivers State produces 40% of Nigerian oil and 60% of Nigerian gas, with a per capita income of $3,965 which compares favourably with the national per capita of $2,640.
The State Chief Executive said the lack of attention by the Federal Government to the dredging of the NPA Wharf has led to several loss of jobs for our youths, thereby increasing youth restiveness and unemployment.
According to him deplorable condition of the East-West Road leading to the Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne has rendered this zone moribund, with much loss of economic activities, noting that the main economic driver is a large pool of skilled and unskilled manpower available in the State.
He said his Administration has initiated a RIVSJOBS platform which keeps a data base that enables employers and job seekers to access themselves easily, while massive road infrastructural development has effectively opened up all of Port Harcourt Metropolis making it more investor friendly and generally improving the security outlay.
He said “road rehabilitation in the rural areas is opening up access for agricultural products and enhancing market potentials. This presents a unique opportunity for non-oil sector development targeting agricultural sectors with high growth potential”.
Governor Wike while Commending the British High Commissioner and his team at the British High Commission, Abuja for this laudable initiative of raising economic consciousness in the Niger Delta through this documentary, however expressed the need for Nigeria to have a free fair and credible polls next year.
“As we cannot also separate economic opportunities in the Niger Delta from a stable democratic process, it is needful to advocate for the conduct of transparent and credible elections by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and the entrenchment of the statutory role of the security agencies to provide the enabling environment for a free and fair elections” He stressed.
In his remarks the British High Commissioner to Nigeria Paul Arkwright said lack of stability in the Niger Delta Region is a major source of concern and the challenges needs to be handled.
According to him one of the key reasons for instability in the region is the high level of poverty generated through lack of opportunity, people suffer from unemployment created through environmental damage which destroys livelihood due to oils spills and oil theft, noting that everybody has a role to prevent further damage.
Head of Press Unit,
Deputy Governor’s Office, Port Harcourt.
Friday, June 22nd 2018.
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo (Left) being welcomed by the British High Commissioner, Paul Arkwright (Right) to the Launching of Defiant Embers ( A Documentary on the Economic Potentials in the Niger Delta ) at Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt. 22nd June 2018.
Rivers State Government House
Office of the Deputy Governor
Government House Complex