The Federal Government has been advised to use the prevailing ceasefire with Niger Delta militants to restart the $16billion Gas Revolution Industrial Park and Escravos Environs Power Supply Project in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Niger Delta activist and chieftain of the All Progressive Congress, Chief Ayirimi Emami, made the call in an open letter to President Muhammad Buhari, a copy of which was made available to The Nation.
He said the move would go a long way to bringing permanent peace to the Niger Delta, stressing that delay in restarting the project is hampering 150,000 possible direct and indirect jobs in the region.
He said, “I have never been an advocate of the use violence to attract Federal or state governments’ attention, but that does not mean that the Niger Delta Region has not been suffering neglect, despite the huge resources derived from the area.
“But now that the so-called ceasefire has been declared by the militants and their sponsors, permit me to strongly appeal that your administration immediately initiate steps to commence work at the multibillion dollar,” he added.
Chief Emami said the determination of the present administration to diversify our economy from over-dependence on crude oil and gas would be greatly enhanced by the projects, which he said could mop over 150,000 youths off the streets.
“The ongoing strides being recorded by the military hierarchy (against terrorists and militants) will maximally achieve its set goals if construction work resumes at the Gas Revolution Industrial Park, GRIP, Ogidigben as well as Escravos Environs Power Supply Project.
“All the Federal and Delta State governments need to do is to create the enabling environment, set the right policy direction as well as ensure adequate security and the project with a massive employment capacity from ready-foreign investors will take-off in earnest.
“The over $16 billion GRIP Project billed to accommodate a major Industrial Gas Hub and Petrochemical, Methanol as well as Fertilizer Plant will create over 150,000 direct and indirect jobs at the construction stage and set the tone for the eagerly anticipated diversification of our economy.
“No doubt, the Agricultural, Manufacturing and Solid Minerals sectors will be greatly boosted, Niger Delta militancy will be brought to non-existence and the ongoing effort to take our country out of recession will be realized,” Emami stated.
In the same vein, the Warri chief appealed to the federal government to revisit the Escravos Environs Power Supply Project, stressing that “This mega project is a part of NGC ELPS System-A Network, which passes the host communities in the Escravos Shore, Warri South-West LGA.
“It must be explicitly stated that 30 oil and gas host/ impacted communities will benefit in the project, which is outside the power supply and distribution network of the National Grid. This is not forgetting the communities’ huge agro-based potentials.”
He lamented that the recent attack on oil facilities have plunged riverside communities in the region into perpetual darkness, noting that with the completion of the project, host communities would have more stake and need to protect gas facilities in their communities.
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