Niger Delta SYNOPSIS Issues confronting the Niger Delta region have caused increasing national and international concern for the past 5 years. Runtime: 04:52 Country: Nigeria Filming Location: Niger Delta Language: English Source: A24Media
SCRIPT Commentary The Niger Delta region produces immense oil wealth and has become the engine of Nigeria’s economy. But it also presents formidable challenges to sustainable human development, because these vast revenues have barely touched the Delta’s own pervasive local poverty. Today, conflicts over resources among communities, and between communities and oil companies make the headlines. The youths in the region have taken matters into their hands by kidnapping foreigners and wealthy locals, demanding for huge ransoms. But not all of the nine states that make up the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria records kidnappings and violence. Akwa Ibom State is saying peace can return to the Niger Delta if development projects are implemented. ITV, Godswill Akpabio, Governor, Akwa Ibom State (English) “Overall the state has been one of the most peaceful states in the country not just in the Niger Delta and that is why people are very happy here, all the major construction companies are working here. Akwa Ibom remains one of the states where you see expatriates jogging in the morning, we want to keep it that way because our people love visitors and we want them to assist us in developing”. Commentary Various road projects are ongoing in the state, the airport is being renovated and many luxury taxis are available to ease transportation. Facilitators of these projects are optimistic that the people are benefiting and peace is returning. ITV, Aniekan Umanah, Commissioner for Information (English) “With the coming of the Ibom Tropicana project which is a N32Billion multi-faceted entertainment centre coming on 2009 will continue to expand the coast of Akwa Ibom as a huge construction site. What will this do? More and more people will be employed, more of our kids will work, more salaries in the people’s pockets that will translate to more food on the table,
families will be happy and the governor will be happy that he is putting smiles on the faces of his citizens”. ITV, Zhang Guojun, Road Contractor (English) “Almost 75% of the workers come from the communities and some others from outside”. ITV, Tony Apps, Power Project Engineer (English) “I used to drive down the main street here 2 years ago at 6/7 o’clock at night there was nobody. I can drive down the street now there are shops/businesses lit up till 10/12 o’clock at night. It’s very easy to see that as soon as 24hr power is available the whole infrastructure, entrepreneurs, business people have confidence. They will build stores the whole place will explode. Once the infrastructure, the roads, the power, the water are in place then business will come, what then needs to follow up in most of these places is the education”. Commentary Eseme Eyibo is a federal lawmaker pioneering a forward looking initiative in the Federal House of Representatives. He believes the Niger Delta crisis can be resolved with dialogue followed by development. ITV, Eseme Eyibo, Member, House of Representatives (English) “Everybody is talking about the Niger Delta that the problem of the Niger Delta and criminality is as a result of government at sub-national not being able to appropriate resources given to it for the impact of the people. We now decided to get ourselves engaged with development partners to know the indicators so we can intervene in the Niger Delta crisis. The Federal Government is doing so much to intervene in the Niger Delta crisis. But 70% of the people are in the subnational so we are engaging ourselves in the change management dialogue with government at this level and where we feel some things are not done right we draw the attention of the subnational government to it”. Commentary An indigene of the state expressed joy at the prospects of an atmosphere of peace in a region known for crisis and poverty. ITV, Isaac Utang, Businessman (English) “The present government has done its best by putting up a good administration in the state to see that business and every other thing is moving well, money is coming in and going out and we thank God”.