Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa calls on federal government to quickly resuscitate the Warri Port, saying it is key to curbing unemployment in the state and nation.
Okowa made the call on the resuscitation of the Warri Port at a town hall meeting with youths, in including ENDSARS protesters, civil society groups, students, social groups, community leaders and stakeholders across Delta South and Central senatorial districts in Warri.
He said that with the congestion of the ports in Lagos, the federal government should revive Warri Port and other seaports in Delta to boost the nation’s economy and create employment for the youths.
The governor stated that the rate of unemployment was very high, saying that it could not be immediately reversed, stressing that checking unemployment was not just about employing people into public service, arguing that not more than five per cent of the population would benefit from it.
Okowa disclosed that to tackle the unemployment trend, his administration adopted skills acquisition and entrepreneurship programs to empower the unemployed.
‘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 said.
He thanked the youths for peacefully coordinating themselves and assured that his administration would address some of the issues raised, noting that town hall meetings were an opportunity to hear from the people directly and provide solutions to issues bordering them.
The governor said that the state government was building multi-billion-naira storm water drainages in Warri to address the perennial flooding in the city.
“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 of government ordinarily should be about the people’s interest, but it appears we are not doing enough because if every representative return 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, houses of assembly members, commissioners, council chairmen and councilors should communicate more with their people so that we can nip in the bud some of these, early enough, he said. (Warri Port)
Okowa urged the youths to show interest in governance and challenged them to show capacity that they could do what the elders fails to do.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Youths Development, Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, had in his remark, underscored the important of youths in the social and economic development and economic development of any nation.
He said that the town hall meeting was convened in recognition of the critical roles the youths played in nation-building.
Speakers at the meeting said that the ENDSARS protests were expressions of the anger of the youths in not just ending police brutality but also ending bad governance, unemployment and the hopelessness of tomorrow.
They called on the government to bridge the gap between it and the youths by bringing more youths into governance and called for an amendment of the Nigeria Constitution to pave way for restructuring and resource control.
The participants also deplored the economic deprivation, infrastructural decadence and political strangulation of the youths in Delta and urged the governor to address all the oppressive issues against them by government and security agents.
The youths added that Warri Port, Delta Steel Company and other industries in Warri axis should be resuscitated as a way of curbing the easing unemployment in the state.