A former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said despite the rich natural resources in the Niger Delta region, such resources have not been harnessed for the wellbeing of the region and her people.
He also blamed the underdevelopment in the region on hostile attitude, activities of youths and local politics in the region.
Speaking in Asaba at the 2021 annual lecture of Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), he said not until the hostile attitude of people of the region is addressed, the region would remain unattractive to investors and industrialisation.
The former governor who spoke on the theme; “Niger Delta Economy: Building A New Face For The Region” said leaders of the region must return to communities to plead with them to be friendly to investors.
“The Niger Delta region has been so hostile to investors and we cannot have the region industrialised until we change our attitude. We must encourage people to have production facilities. It may not be very large but let’s encourage small industries. We must also encourage big industries to also come by creating enabling environment.
“We need collaboration with the oil companies, government and the people to encourage infrastructure development in the region”, he said.
The former governor also advocated for the opening up of the seaports in the region to create a new economy, and urged the federal and state governments to collaborate and revitalize the seaports.
He reminded journalists, especially publishers of online news outlets in the region that they have a critical role to play in ensuring sanity in the region.
“Do not forget that with social media, whatever you put up can either build or destroy the image of the region. Of course, this can affect the economic development of the region,” he said.