‘Greater synergy of stakeholders needed to salvage Niger Delta’



A leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor has said increased oil and gas export coupled with consistent development would guarantee quality life for the people of South-South Nigeria.

Emerhor, who is also one of the guest speakers at a South South Stakeholders meeting tilted: ‘Peace and Good Governance in the South-South’ held in Delta State over the weekend said it is important to ensure that peace returned to the Niger Delta region to facilitate the nation’s speedy recovery from the current economic recession.

He outlined core panacea for lasting peace and economic stability, increase oil and gas export and at the same time give hope, further assurance of consistent development and guarantee quality life for the people of South-South Nigeria.

According to him, “Greater synergy, cross fertilization of ideas and a common vision amongst stakeholders will produce better results in terms of policy direction, corporate social responsibility, youth unemployment, security and infrastructural development will also help the region.”

He added that without concerted efforts by key players such as; the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the multi national oil exploration and Extraction companies, peace in the region may be difficult to attain now and in the future.

He also noted that youth statistics is very crucial which can be done through various data collection methodologies, saying: “Accurate data will enable federal, state and local government to adequately plan for unemployment, vocational training and skills acquisition programmes that would engage the youths and re-position them to becoming better and more useful citizens.”

Emerhor, who is also the Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) of Standard Alliance Group (SAG), asserted that it is a pity that the region had been neglected for too long and therefore became grossly underdeveloped. He blamed past administrations for paying lip service to the issue of infrastructural development and youth employment, training and rehabilitation.

The seasoned banker and financial consultant blamed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for not providing structures that encourages transparency and accountability in managing huge financial resources meant for the overall development of the region.

Emerhor however suggested that a reserve fund mechanism must be worked out and perfected with credible individuals and agencies as Funds Managers so as to accumulate reasonable financial resources for the consistent development of the Niger Delta region, which he described as; the “goose that lay the golden eggs.”

To him it is imperative for Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration because of the visible and result-oriented economic policies in place to quickly recover from the self inflicted recession occasioned by the mismanagement of huge revenue earned from crude oil export and other local and foreign cash in-flows from 1999 to May 29, 2015.

Emerhor reassured Nigerians of a better tomorrow after the recession, pointing out that President Buhari and his cabinet members are working slowly and very steadily to tackle leakages in the financial sector that would ultimately reflect in the proper management of resources to be allocated for the development of the South-South geopolitical zone.

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