By Onozure Dania
An interventionist agency, Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation, EGCDF in Warri, Delta State, has solicited for more collaboration between major stakeholders in the area in order to meet the human capital and infrastructural developmental needs of indigenes of the oil bearing communities.
Its chairman, Mr Jude Ukori, who made the appeal in a statement in Warri, yesterday, noted that the issue of underdevelopment of the area was enormous and would require the concerted efforts of all stakeholders both in government and the private sectors to tackle problems.
According to him, “The communities of Egbema and Gbaramatu have contributed much to sustain the economy of Nigeria as major oil producing communities and deserve to be developed.
“This administration will engage the Delta and Federal Governments, other interventionist agencies to pay attention to the communities of Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdoms to help them in the area of development. We will carry out economic empowerment projects and is a source for employment for the teeming able bodied youths in the communities.”
“Many of our teeming youths area are unemployed, the source of livelihood in the area is quite dwindling because of the environmental impact and degradation as the result of oil exploration and exploitation over the years.
“We need the assist all stakeholders both in government and other interventionist agencies to help our people by providing them economic empowerment projects that will create employment for the people.
“As of the peace, we have been engaging our people and we will continue to engage them on need to live peacefully with the oil companies operating in their domain, in order fast tracking infrastructural and economic growth, especially in the area of youth empowerment programmes and scholarship schemes for those who need to be educated.
“We need to support the educational institutions in the area. Many of the educational institutions in Egbema Gbaramatu communities are short staffed as the teachers posted their hardly stay. We need other incentives to keep them there in order to make the school functions as good as the schools in the urban.
“We will be looking on how our people can have economic control, it is a good opportunity that the federal, state governments are encouraging our people in the area of setting up modular refineries which boils down to issue of capital base.
“ We are calling on interested investors to partner us as we are credible and organise to provide a conducive atmosphere for any form of business to thrive in the area. That I can assure. What we are looking at is human capital development, economic empowerment and social infrastructural development in the area to ensure a source of livelihood for our people.”