Ijaw youths fault spending on military operation in Niger Delta
The Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) has faulted billions of naira allegedly spent on the military operation christened ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in the Niger Delta.
The group said such a huge amount should have been deployed for the development of infrastructure in the area.
IYC president, Udengs Eradiri, who was reacting to the death of four soldiers in a boat mishap earlier in the week, argued that the Federal Government had no economic plan for the oil-rich region.
While commiserating with the families of the deceased, he charged government and the military to sanitise the region.
Eradiri also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to urgently make provisions for the take-off of the Brass Fertiliser Factory in Bayelsa State.
He noted that the fertiliser company has the capacity to create jobs for unemployed youths as well as generate huge revenue.
His words: “My worry is that government does not have an economic plan for the region because they approached the problem by bringing the stick without the carrot. And that is why people are complaining about the military operation.
“The money that the government spends on mobilising the military could be channelled to excavators and bulldozers to begin construction of roads in the area.”
He added: “By the time you spend so much money making a crocodile smile without an economic plan that would engage the people, after the crocodile finishes smiling, the whole problem would start again.
“That is why the IYC has been talking about the Brass Fertiliser Factory. The project is two times bigger than the Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project. Buhari should as a matter of urgency ask the CBN do what is necessary for the fertiliser factory to commence operation as soon as possible.”
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