By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HAR-COURT— Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, has hinted of the Federal Government’s approval for modular refineries in the region to redress pollution arising from illegal refining activities.
Speaking, yesterday, during a maiden interactive session with youths of the region at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Mr Ekere also enjoined youths in the region to come together under a common umbrella in the same way elders of the region had done under the aegis of PANDEF.
Ekere, who was flanked by the two other Executive Directors of the commission, said it was disturbing that youths of the region had not been able to organise themselves under a common platform for their benefit.
“The problem I have had since I took over is which youth t
o talk to on matters of the region. Which group should government really deal with? We can’t continue like this. Even criminals have leaders.”
So you have to have a common structure. I commend the elders. Until recently they had that problem but today they have PNDEF so the youths should do same,” he said.
On modular refineries in the region, he said the commission had been told to workout the framework with other relevant government ministries, adding that the step would make youths in the region be part owners of same.
He lamented the destructive impact of illegal refining activities on the environment in the region, stressing that the modular refineries will make refining process conform with healthy standards.
“On your behalf I raised this issue. NDDC has been mandated to work out the framework with others so that the youths in the region can be part owners of the modular refineries. You may not have money to do it but once you are recognised you have a stake,” he said.
He enjoined the youths to work with other stakeholders to promote peace in the region, assuring that the new board was determined to make a difference in the development of the area.