The Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) an NGO based in Warri has urged the Federal Government and oil multinationals to address the alarming rate of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta Region. The NGO demands for better attention from Chevron Nigeria Limited among other IOCs to help strengthen the economy of the Niger Delta States.
Comrade Sheriff Mulade, the National Coordinator of CEPEJ, who gave the charge in his Warri office, stated that lack of maintenance by the oil multinationals has led to the outbreak of fire in the region, triggering tension, loss of lives and property, and creating fear among the citizens.
He urged government to force oil multinationals to save the environment by acting now for the sake of people in the host communities, as well as take concrete steps to address the development challenges in the region.
According to Comrade Comrade, evidences of poor economic growth and infrastructural development which include reduced income of citizens, power supply, unmployment, lack of portable and drinkable water, roads, hospitals, schools amongst others, must be considered by the government and the oil multinationals.
He urged the various administrations in the Niger Delta and the people of the region to proffer lasting solutions to the problem of underdevelopment by working towards improving the situation, using local expertise and local/rural control of resources.
He said it is worrisome that despite the potentials of a very oil rich region, the Niger Delta people still suffer lack of infrastructural and economic development, urging the FG and the oil multinationals to stand up to the vows they made towards ameliorating the region's developmental issues.
The NGO appealed to all Nigerians to play their parts in support of government, saying that environmental abuse anywhere is a threat to humanity everywhere.