Stakeholders Want Sustainable Development Plan For N’ Delta


Stakeholders in the Niger Delta region have called for a sustainable plan for the economic development of the oil-rich region.
Some stakeholders who spoke with The Tide, during a dialogue forum on peace and stability in Ogoniland held at the Atrium Event Centre, in Port Harcourt at the weekend, advocated for an economic frame work that would help in articulating the productive sectors of the Niger Delta economy.
An economic expert, Dr Chuks Ofulue, who spoke in an interview with The Tide at the event, decried the absence of sustainable economic plan in the Niger Delta , which has made the economy of the region to remain unproductive.
Ofulue, who is the Chief Economist of the BRACED Commission said, despite the presence of intervention of policies such as, the Niger Delta master plan, Amnesty plan, Ministry of Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) among others, the region has remained grossly underdeveloped.
According to the economist, most of the economic policies in the Niger Delta are mere poverty alleviation programmes without any sustainable prospect of development in the region.
He called on the leaders and stakeholders in the region to think beyond oil and embrace other means of economic development such as agriculture, industrialisation, manufacturing, among others.
Ofulue, who delivered a topic on: “Economic Empowerment and Alternative Livelihood Option for Ogoni”, said the Ogonis have been victims of oil exploration in Nigeria and called for the enactment of laws to promote local ownership of oil and its accruing revenue.
He also called on the Ogonis to take advantage of their arable land for agricultural artivities.
Also speaking, an academic, Dr Lebatan Ndegwe, said the major cause of confliction in Ogoni, was as a result of the destruction of the natural means of livelihood of the people leading to poverty and unemployment.
Ndegwe who was the key discussant at the event, called for dialogue and constructive engagement among Ogoni stakeholders as a means of promoting peace and stability in the area and Niger Delta region in general.
Other stakeholders who spoke at the event commended the Academic Associate Peace Work and the UK government for organizing the programme.