Stakeholders from Warri, Delta State and other part of Nigeria recently came together to brainstorm on the possibility of restoring Warri to its former socio-economic life style. The event tagged ‘Why Not Warri’ organized by Activist, Comrade Rex Anighoro was a near three hours of intense deliberations and exchange of opinions and ideas for Warri socio-economic rebirth.
For the opening part, it was a trip down memory lane as the audience was made to recall the days of old in Warri, which was like a salad bowl, or a mini- Nigeria with various tribes and cultures domiciled and thriving without challenge or delineation. The days when when companies littered the landscape of Warri and environs.
A summary of some of the submissions include the call by oil industry player and youth empowerment advocate, Sir David Ikutegbe for better enforcement of the Local Content laws. The immediate past Chairman Isoko South LGA and association of Local governments Nigeria (ALGON), Hon Constantine Ikpokpo spoke about the need to ensure that the best and most experienced hands negotiate with the multinationals on behalf of the host communities, adding that transparency must be enshrined in the process to prevent situations where the proceeds meant for all is not circumvented by a privileged few empowered with popular trust.
Special Adviser to the Governor of Delta State on DESOPADEC, Hon.( Barr.) Evelyn Oboro called for the upgrade of relevant infrastructure like local markets to a world-class standard which will encourage more wholesale and reduced prices and for the youth to collaborate more to harness their potentials for greater impact.
Transformational leadership coach and conference speaker, Dr Charles Apoki decried the ‘deve’ syndrome in Warri and called for the youth to shun acts of cultism, violence and other vices that can make Warri investment risk.
Olorogun Mike Madogwhe stated that Warri as a brand of the people of Delta and Niger Delta Region has the best welding fabricators. He advocated training and re-training of the youths so as to shurn out more competent personnel to fill those slots globally.
Comrade Sunny Ofehe, the Dutch-based environmental activist, and 2019 Delta State Governorship Aspirant under the APC harped on our attitude towards public utilities and the environment. He noted that the must take ownership and responsibility for the environment and projects sited in their domain.
“Where we allow few people to represent us, we must inquire as to how far and how well, because without checks and balances, such privileges will certainly be abused, which is what has played out over time,” he stated.
Dr. Barry Pere Gbe, former Delta State Commissioner for Economic Planning harped on the need for a short-, medium-, and long-term developmental plan for Warri, which must be followed by successive governments till full actualization of a Warri socio-economic rebirth.
Barr Robinson Ariyo, a social change activist, peace building expert and oil industry reform activist spoke on the need to revisit the local content laws, and for all tribal and clannish sentiments impeding its express implementation to be curtailed.
Comrade Rex Anighoro, the organizer of the event noted that the mammoth attendance showed that the people were concerned and willing to play their part to record positive changes. He affirmed that a working document will be created shortly, which will serve as a blueprint to derive robust interactions with and record appropriate actions from relevant stakeholders in different sectors, all aimed at the Warri socio-economic rebirth. This will be accompanied by a massive road-walk campaign to sensitize Deltans on the need to shun actions, practices, and vices that tarnish the Warri brand, and for relevant stakeholders to wake up to their responsibilities.