27 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, worldwide, has said the Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, will go down in history as a failure if he fails to revived the moribund seaports in the Niger Delta to pave the way for economic development of the region.
The Ijaw youth body advised that in the spirit of diversification, which has been a sing-song of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the economy of the Niger Delta region should be diversified into shipping and maritime.
President of IYC, Mr. Eric Omare, who lamented that seaports fall under Amaechi’s Ministry, regretted that all the seaports in the region were moribund while Lagos port was over-congested.
Omare reminded Amaechi that if as Minister of Transportation, he fails to revived the ports in the region, he would go down in history like other Niger Delta leaders that he has been consistently accusing of failing the region.
According to him, “The Onne, Calabar, Warri, Koko, Sapele, Burutu, Port Harcourt and other ports in the Niger Delta, all under the Ministry of Transportation, are just lying fallow while the Apapa port in Lagos is congested, especially with the ongoing repairs of the Apapa road.
“Ameachi was very vocal in critising the last administration. He will be a failure just like other leaders from the region who have failed to develop the region.”
Omare recalled with nostalgia that Benneth Island in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, used to be a beehive of economic activities when the Warri port was functional as it served as anchor point for sea-bound vessels and those waiting to discharge goods.
He stated that there was no economic sense for multinationals, the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, other companies and businessmen in the region to import their goods through Apapa port in Lagos, then used millions of naira to transport such goods to the region when it could be easily done through the Warri port and create thousands of jobs for youths towards addressing the problem of militancy.
“When we talk about diversification, people are always quick to mention agriculture. Yes, agriculture is good, but, it only favours the Northern region. We in the Niger Delta are at a disadvantage when it comes to agriculture.
“So, in the spirit of diversification, seaports in the Niger Delta should be revived to pave the way for economic development of the region,” he said.
The IYC president, therefore, called on the minister as a Niger Delta indegene, to take up the revival of the moribund seaports in the region as a priority.