By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT â€”Â SOUTH South youth leadersâ€™ forum, an umbrella body of youthÂ in the region, has risen against reported move by the Federal Government to build some big ticket projects in the Niger Delta on Private Public Partnership (PPP) or Build Operate and Transfer arrangement (BOT).
A statement by Acting Chairman of the body, Mr. Odiedim Amachree, feared that the arrangement would further worsen theÂ poverty in the region, as the area lacked the capacity to sustain projects under such arrangement.
The group further urged the Federal Government to go about these projects the way it went with similar ones in other parts of the country where government funded them completely.
“Federal Government recently pronounced some projects for the region. We in the South South Youth Leadersâ€™ Forum see this as a noble gesture that would re-open economic activities in the area and further open up enormous opportunity that will generate massive employment for our people and most importantly our teaming youths.
“These projects which include the Niger Delta Coastal Road and Railway System will enhance development and boostÂ tourism in the coastal area. It has come to our notice that the Federal Government has decided to carry out these projects on Public Private Partnership (PPP) or Build Operate and Transfer basis.
We want to state firmly that this decision of Government to carry out PPP or BOT will further impoverish our people. It again cast doubt on the sincerity of government. Over the years we have been marginalise and oppressed, we are described as the proveabal hen that lays the golden egg and does not have anything to show for it.
We have analysed with kin interest that those of our people, the market women, traders, fisher men and the local dweller will be subjected to hardship if this projects are done on PPP or BOT basis.
The Federal Executive Council has been approving gigantic projects in some regions of the country, even in Abuja without PPP or BOT. This is not justice and equity, it is deceit and unreasonable.
We are calling on all stakeholders and positive minded youth leaders from all fronts to reject this move by those who think that Niger Delta.â€
â€œNevertheless we want the federal government to likewise give the required monitory approval for this project that will open up economic activities in the Niger Delta Region and Nigeria at large.