Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to activate work on the Gas Revolution Industrial Park project in Ogidigben and ensure that its essence is achieved.
Okowa, who was in company with his Deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, made the call while speaking to journalists after inspecting ongoing construction of the multi-billion naira Floating Market at Ogheye in Warri North Council Area on Friday.
He said that the Gas Revolution Industrial Park project had been delayed for too long and urged the Federal Government to immediately look into the issues surrounding the delay.
The governor stated that the project had huge economic value to the nation and the Niger Delta, adding that Federal Government should partner the state government to make life more meaningful for riverside dwellers whose land contribute to the revenue of the nation.
According to him, when we bring joy to them, it’s good for us as a state, it’s good for us as a nation and I use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to pay more attention to these riverside areas.
He said “the government should do everything to encourage the coastal people more to provide a more conducive environment for the production of the oil that is the main stay of the economy of this nation.
“I use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to ensure that the Gas Revolution Industrial Park project is brought alive.
“For too long we have spoken about it; several meetings were held and plans were put in place. Whatever that is holding it back, it is important that the Federal Government takes a very serious look at it and come forth with a workable plan that will enable them take off.
“We will continue to call on the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion to partner the state to ensure that we develop our riverside areas.”
On the floating market, Okowa said it was approved by the previous administration but that the process was slow and the contractor couldn’t achieve much.
“When we came we assured that we will complete the entire market and also promised a redesign of the project.
“The market has a banking hall, an administrative building, a standing tower and other facilities; It sits on a 6,000 square metres platform built on top of the river and you know what that means.
“A lot has gone in and the contractor has gone ahead to build 96 open stores and 80 lock-up stores are nearing completion.
“It’s a special market because we have a lot of communities from Warri North, Warri South West, and the river extending to Edo and Ondo states. It is obviously a lot of opportunities and it will expand the economic opportunities of the people of the riverside areas.
“For every project we are able to deliver in the riverine area we are happier for it much more as a government than those projects we do in the upland because it is much easier to do projects in the upland.
“However, we must realise that our brothers and sisters who are in the riverine areas who suffer more of the effect of oil pollution, the contamination of their water, environmental degradation of their land do suffer more and ought to be attended to,” he said.
He thanked the people of the riverine community for giving peace a chance assuring that government will continue to partner with them to do more.
“It is a project that is dear to my heart just as we continue to do things in the riverine areas, because we believe that when you give, you should also receive.
“There is no doubt that a lot of the oil production of this country comes from these areas, unfortunately over time we have tended to forget them believing that the cost of putting up infrastructure in the riverine areas is heavy and we tend to withdraw as government and that is not fair, it is not equitable and that injustice of our continued belief must be redressed.
“And for everything we have done in the riverine area, I am happy about that. This is the second time am visiting the Benin River and am happy about it.
“I am glad that I will come back again because the contractor has said that before the end of the year, with other persons we may invite along to come in to inaugurate this project,” the governor said.