18 September 2016, Warri – The chairman, Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group, WIPM, Warri, Delta State, Chief Patrick Bigha, weekend, pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently resume work on the Export Processing Zone, EPZ, Escravos, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, comprising Ogidigben Gas City and Deep Seaport, Gbaramatu, to tackle the issue of unemployment and economic hardship besetting the country.
“As we speak, the land for both components of the project is ready to start construction and coupling of machines,” he asserted. He said: “It could be recalled that during the groundbreaking ceremony performed by former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Thursday March 26, 2015, the drivers of the project did say that the project will engage 150,000 work force at the construction level and 5,000,000 work force at the completion of the project.”
“No doubt, this is a project that will reduce unemployment to barest minimum, if not totally eradicate unemployment in this part of the country. This is the time for this project to continue as it will help to reduce the effects of the current economic hardship Nigerians are going through,” Bigha said.
According to him: “The beauty of this project is that it is private- sector driven, as the government of Nigeria will not spend any kobo in the project, but will only provide the enabling environment for the private investors, which the two ethnic groups have promised before the inauguration of the present administration.”
Bigha stated: “The resumption of work will also address the issue of the Niger Delta resurgence as most of the youths, including those that had skilled training from the Presidential Amnesty Programme will be engaged in the project. By then, no one will be left to make trouble in the region. It will also address the incessant quarreling between the Ijaw and the Itsekiri, as sometimes, idleness is the cause of such quarreling.”
“To this end, it is our sincere and humble advice to Mr. President to urgently order the necessary bodies to activate the project to address the issue of economic recession and unemployment in our country,” he added.