‘Declare Emergency On S’South Infrastructure’

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A group, South-South Consolidated Forum (SCF), yesterday urged the Federal Government to declare state of emergency against decaying infrastructure and underdevelopment in the South-South geopolitical zone.
The forum’s President, Chief Dick Harry, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Calabar.
According to him, there is the need for government to take the step to address the decaying infrastructure in the region that produces much of the wealth of the nation.
Harry held that 55 years after oil was first discovered in the zone, it was still suffering from deprivation, neglect, poverty and environmental degradation.
He said the time had come for the government to focus attention on the development of the region.
“We believe the Federal Government owes the people of the South-South a lot in terms of development especially in the areas of infrastructure.
“This includes roads, education, health, environmental degradation, poverty reduction and sustainable development’’, he said
According to him, the amnesty granted by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua brought peace to the Niger Delta and boosted oil exploration for enhanced revenue base of the country.
He called on multinationals exploring oil in the region to review their recruitment policies in favour of indigenes of the area.
“We did an independent research on the activities of the multinationals and we discovered that only about 15 per cent of the manpower was drawn from the South-South, this is indeed a sad story.’’
Harry noted that since the discovery of oil in the region, it had been facing a lot of challenges, which must be addressed in the interest of equity, justice and fair play.
He also appealed to leaders in South-South to shun divide and rule tactics and foster the unity of the people of the region.