Chinazor Megbolu |
The Delta State Government is considering the resuscitation of Warri port in a bid to boost employment opportunities in the State.
The Governor, Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, disclosed this during a Town Hall Meeting with Youths, comprising of #ENDSARS protesters, civil society groups, students, social groups, community leaders and stakeholders across Delta South and Delta Central Senatorial Districts on Thursday in Warri.
He used the opportunity to call on the Federal Government to help speed up the resuscitation of the Warri Port as a key to curbing unemployment in the State and the country at large.
Okowa, in his address, noted that with the congestion of the ports in Lagos State, the federal government should resuscitate the Warri port and other seaports in Delta in order to accelerate the Nigeria’s economy and also create employment opportunities for the youths.
He explained that the rate of unemployment in the country was very high, but could not be reversed as soon as possible.
Okowa further hinted that checking unemployment was not just about employing people into public service as not more than five per cent of the population would benefit from it, stressing that to tackle the unemployment trend, his administration had adopted skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programmes to empower them.
According to Okowa; “we will try to improve our processes of helping our youths to acquire skills and provide them with starter packs.
“The more active ports we have, the better for the nation; our economy isn’t working the way it ought to work because Lagos is congested.
“The Warri channel needed to be dredged and the Federal Government has awarded phase one of the dredging but until phase two is awarded, we will not be able to achieve any success story on that”.
He, however, thanked the youths for coordinating themselves peacefully, assuring them that his administration would continue to address some of the issues raised.
Okowa also pointed out that town hall meetings were opportunity carved out to hear from the people directly in order to provide solutions to issues bothering them.
He further stated the State Government was building multi-billion Naira Storm Water drainages in Warri to address the perennial flooding in the city.
“Water channel in Warri is built up, so we set up a committee of those who knew what Warri was in those days and I am glad that today, we are now at the operationalisation stage of the report.
“The Warri Stadium will be rehabilitated after we have successfully addressed the flooding challenges in the area.
“Government is about the participation of the people and the governance process is not easy but I believe that we can do better and we can only do that when we begin to talk with ourselves.
“A representative government ordinarily should be about the people’s interest, but it appears we are not doing enough because if every representative returns home to meet with the people and seek their inputs on the challenges facing them, then we would have been able to address these challenges.
“Going forward, House of Assembly members, Commissioners, Council Chairmen and Councillors should communicate more with their people so that we can nip in the bud some of these, early enough,” he said.
Okowa charged the youths to show interest in governance, challenging them to show capacity that they could do what the elders failed to do.
According to the Governor; “we have, as a government, encouraged more youths into governance because we believe that youths are the leaders of tomorrow.
“In our next local government elections, we will ensure that 80 to 90 per cent of youths and girls occupy councillorship positions”
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