The Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group (WIPMG) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently order for resumption of work at the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Escravos, Warri South West LGA, Delta State, to fight the current economic recession in the country.
The multi-million dollar EPZ project initiated by former President Goodluck Jonathan has two components of Gas City at Ogidigben and Deep Seaport at Gbaramatu kingdom.
If reactivated, the group said it would address unemployment, militancy, inter-communal feud and other indices of the present economic recession.
The group in a statement signed by its chairman, Chief Patrick Bigha and made available to Nigerian Tribune in Warri on Thursday, observed that “the land for both components of the project is ready to start construction and coupling of machines.”
According to the group, “It could be recalled that during the ground breaking ceremony performed by former president Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, March 26, 2015, the drivers of the project did say that the project would engage 150,000 work force at the construction level and 5,000,000 work force at the completion of the project.
“No doubt, this is a project that will reduce unemployment to the bearest minimum if not totally eradicate unemployment in this part of the country.
“This is the time for this project to continue as it will help to reduce the effects of the current economic hardship Nigerians are going through.
“The beauty of this project is that it is private sector-driven, as the government of Nigeria will not spend any kobo in the project, but will only provide the enabling environment for the private investors, which the two ethnic groups have promised before the inauguration of the present administration.”
The group also added that “the resumption of work will also address the issue of the Niger Delta resurgence as most of the youths including those that had had skilled training from the Presidential Amnesty Programme will be engaged in the project.
“By then no one will be left to make trouble in the region.
“It will also address the incessant quarrelling between the Ijaws and the Itsekiris as sometimes idleness is the cause of such quarrelling.”