- Over the years, successive Nigerian governments at all levels have struggled to tackle oil theft in the country
- Due to crude oil theft, Nigeria lost a staggering $1 billion in revenue in the first quarter of the year 2022
- Moses Siasia, convener of Niger Delta Young Professionals, says the federal government and Niger Delta governors are not doing enough to tackle the issue
Port Harcourt - Chairman of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) and convener of Niger Delta Young Professionals, Moses Siasia has stated that the federal government is chasing shadows in its quest to tackle the scourge of crude oil theft in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region.
He said governors in the region have neglected the important element of "human infrastructure" development, and are instead focusing on building public infrastructure which may not necessarily impact the lives of the teeming youths of the Niger Delta.
This, he said, may make it difficult for oil theft to end in the region, as the government have failed in investing in building the capacity of young people.
Siaisia made this observation on Wednesday, August 10 in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
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He spoke against the backdrop of the recent visit of a delegation of the federal government to some governors of the region.
Part of the statement read:
“Governments in the region have been focusing on infrastructure, and forgetting the important element of human infrastructure. There must be a deliberate cut out strategy to see how sustainable jobs can be created.
“Over the years we have been advocating and carrying out programmes and encouragement for young people, mostly MSME owners. We foresaw all these things happening from several years ago. We spoke about it and nobody listened.
“It is unfortunate that some of the institutions in the region that are saddled with the task to carry out interventions, have failed in their responsibilities.”
According to him, the surest way to curb oil theft in the Niger Delta is to ensure the creation of a robust entrepreneurship and skill acquisition programme for young people in the region, and the institution of a robust framework for deliberate employment and engagement of youths.
While commending Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for their giant strides in improving human capacity development across the region and Nigeria by extension, he called on government to deliberately channel resources into building the capacity of young people.
The NYPF boss who noted that 70 to 75 percent of youths in the region are idle, worried that the injustice, stealing and mismanagement of government resources is now a culture and a way of life, adding that there will not be normalcy in a dysfunctional environment.
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Young Niger Delta leaders lament over culture of mediocrity in oil-rich region
Recall that young leaders in the oil-rich Niger Delta recently pushed for strategic regional engagement and affirmative leadership, as a panacea for development in the region.
According to them, the initiative is a means to make up for the huge capital being invested in the region.
The leaders also advocated that the region set aside its culture of mediocrity and faulty leadership process at all levels of government.
Oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism must stop, says Hope Uzodimma
In a related development, Imo governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has declared war against oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism in the state.
The governor made the declaration while meeting with a federal government delegation on anti-oil theft led by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva.
Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor together and the CEO of NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari were also among the delegation.