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OWERRI – In an apparent move to avert looming crisis and wanton destruction of oil facilities in communities in Imo State, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) recently organised stakeholders’ consultative forum.
Participants at the forum were drawn from traditional rulers, leaders of thought, NDDC staff, political leaders, youth leaders and academics representing the people of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta Local Government Areas of the state and other leaders of thought from the rest of 25 local government areas of Imo.
In the joint meeting held in Owerri, the group identified areas of conflict and proposed a way forward to ensure a lasting peace in the region where oil and gas are produced daily to the benefit of Nigerians.
According to a communiqué signed by the chairman and secretary, John Inyanga and Chido Ezeobi respectively, and made available to Daily Independent on Tuesday, it stated reasons for the emergence of conflicts and crisis in the Niger Delta area with particular emphasis in the two oil producing local government areas of (Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta) in Imo State.
Lack of full implementation of the Acts establishing NDDC in the areas of project execution, poor execution of projects designed for the area, abandonment of NDDC projects, non-involvement of leaders of thought on award of contracts, budget planning, selection and location of designed projects to the benefit of the people were all identified as part of the problems encouraging disquietness in the area.
On the way forward, the communiqué stated that projects meant for the two local government areas should not be diverted to other states.
They demanded a creation of self-employment opportunities for the youths in the areas in the form of business, agriculture, computer training, women and youth empowerment, transportation, as well as other sectors of entrepreneurship.
Such programmes, according to them, should be borne by NDDC through equipment purchases and funding. The stakeholders also look forward to take their turn in the area of clinching the position of “executive director projects” of the commission.
Source; Independent Newspapers Nigeria