The Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has hit out at youths in the Niger Delta region for not supporting government projects, saying that he would have stopped the planned dredging of Warri port channel if he were not an indigene of the South-South region.
Speaking on Thursday, during a reception and empowerment programme held in honour of the Minister of State for Labour and employment, Festus Keyamo in Uvwie Kingdom, Delta State, Amechi said: “I have been working now for the last five years as Minister of Transportation, with the help of the president, I have delivered Abuja – Kaduna Railway and it is running. By January to February, we will deliver Itakpe-Warri. The rails are ready and by the end of December, the coaches will arrive. Between January and April, we will deliver Lagos-Ibadan and by November 30th, 2019, we will start a test run of Lagos to Ibadan.
“But there is a problem. We did a test run from Itakpe to Warri, but our young boys are not good. Lagos to Ibadan, nobody stopped us, no village came out or harassed us, we are nearing completion, we will be out of there by April. But Itakpe to Warri, if I was not from the South-South, I would have stopped, the project.
“Warri seaport was not working. We gave a dredging contract, six months we are arguing, I would have stopped it if I was not from South-South. I have warned them, if they don’t stop, we will pull out. Companies in Warri have all left. Imagine the number of people that they would have employed, contracts they would have given if those companies were still here. Now that they have all gone away, kidnapping has become the source of livelihood.”
The Minister appealed to the Niger Delta youths to eschew crime and allow developmental projects in the region.