Edevbie Poised to Tackle Peculiar Challenges of Delta Senatorial Districts
…Special attention on: riverine areas; erosion control; electricity; industrialisation; Asaba masterplan; Warri Port etc
Leading Peoples Democratic Party aspirant ahead of the Delta 2023 Governorship election, Olorogun David Edevbie, has assured all senatorial districts and ethnic groups of his readiness to respond to their peculiar challenges if elected.
Edevbie who spoke at a forum of the Delta State NUJ, pointed out that while all the senatorial districts want the same form of infrastructural and social developments, they have very peculiar challenges arising from the nature of their environment.
“Let’s start from Delta South. It is largely riverine and the major problem we have there is the oil production that goes on in majority of the place. Everything that has to do with oil production is a problem. Then, certainly, because it is riverine, it costs a lot more money to develop but, specifically, they need all the basic things. If you really want a state where everybody has and feels an equal part of, we must spend more on the riverine areas.
“The other thing I would like to pursue is the Warri Port. The people of Warri and around that area are concerned that the port continues to operate sub-optimally. If it operates optimally, the multiplier effect would be significant.
“If you look at the Ijaw area, everything to do with development is required in that area, without a doubt. And that is because it is a difficult terrain but if we spend the money we need to spend, within 20 years, and especially if you are working with the private sector, there is no reason why we can’t have it looking much better than it is today, more like a Dubai, more like an Miami.
“But in term of specifics, I have been going around consulting and one of the things that they keep raising, constantly, is the need for a higher institution in the Ijaw area. There isn’t. So, I think we would need to look at the finances of the state at the time, whether it does justify another higher institution. But in the short term, what we could do is to look at existing institutions. The School of Marine Technology in Burutu, if we spend more money there, I think that will bring some succour in that area, especially in respect to higher institutions.
The same applies to the College of Engineering in Oleh, the Oleh Campus of the Delta State University. I think if we spend more money there and upgrade it, that would satisfy a lot of people with respect to higher education.
“Delta North has riverine areas and upland. The riverine areas have the same problems as the riverine areas elsewhere and, in the upland, we have erosion. Erosion is a major issue in Delta North and it needs to be addressed. There is also the issue of industry. Luckily Delta North is peaceful, so I see it as quite easy to attract businesses. I would start by breathing life into the Kwale Industrial Park. I will start by breathing life into the Asaba Industrial Park. There is an Industrial Park in Asaba but it hasn’t been functional. I would like to bring it up. Because of its proximity to the Airport that is a very quick win. There are several other Industrial Parks that have been created by His Excellency that I would like to continue to pursue.
“The final thing in Delta North of course is Asaba. We need a masterplan for Asaba. We need to develop Asaba. I don’t see any reason why we cannot have an inner rail network.”
“Delta Central was once the industrial hub of Delta State. There were so many businesses which then created employment but they are all gone. So, I think there needs to be focus on industrialization there but before we can move forward with the industrialisation, we must address the energy issue. We will first address it in the Oghara, Jesse, Sapele axis and then come down to the Ughelli, Udu axis. Once we address the power situation, we address the security situation, government would be able to attract the private sector into industries in those areas. If necessary, government can take equity in order to bring in those industries to that area to create jobs.
“And then, we have Abraka. It is already there. It can be a developmental hub for us in Delta Central. What we can do is to have a way of bringing in industries that can take the feed from the university into them in order to have a synergy between industry and the university.”