Tasks Host Communities On Sensible Activism
The panel review exercise on the environmental and social impact assessment for the proposed Benin City River Port and access road project by the Federal Ministry of Environment kicked off today in Benin City. In his remarks, Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu described the project “as a catalyst that will massively contribute to the transformation of Nigeria’s dwindling economy”.
Shaibu who stood in for Gov Godwin Obaseki was elected to see a major development taking place in Benin towards the realisation of the much talked about Benin City Port. He said the Benin City Port was one of the legacy projects of the Obaseki administration.
According to him, ” this project very dares to our hearts. I want to assure you all that this is not a white elephant project. We do not start what we cannot complete. Hence, Mr Governor is fondly called ‘Wait and See Governor.”
The Deputy Governor who spoke extent pours posited that the project will open the space for economic growth, social growth and the stability of the people of Edo and Nigeria by extension.
“For us, it’s a legacy project that will transform and open the space; not just the economic space, but the social growth of our people,” he said.
“We came with the mantra of change and grow our economy and in return, the impact on the economy is to create jobs for our people – this is not about civil service jobs but a private sector-driven economy in tandem with the global tradition.”
Comrade Shaibu assured the Ministry of Environment of the state’s readiness for the project, stating the things the state has put in place to aid the smooth take-off and completion of the project.
“Already, we have started by opening the space – dualising the road to this axis. We are already preparing the ground to make sure that when this project comes up, other aspects would be dealt with accordingly”
“Today’s public hearing is one of those things we want to receive from you, the contributions of everybody here will also help the state in preparing for the actual fruition of this project.”
While thanking the Federal Minister of Environment – Mohammed Abdullahi – for the project, the Deputy Governor tasked the host communities to put up the right spirit of comradeship and not destructive ones to support the project.
“For the communities here present, this project is your project and it’s our project, your cooperation and collaboration will determine how fast this will come on stream.”
“This should not be another project where activism will overshadow the essence of this work. Some of us are activists, but activism is to bring things that unite us, create jobs and open up the space for development and expose the economic advantage of our environment to the extent that wealth is redistributed through job creation, that’s activism.”
“So, I plead with all our comrades in these communities to join forces and help to make this project come to reality fast for your benefit and the benefit of the state and the country at large.”
“My sincere appreciation goes to the Honorable Minister for his foresight and open-heartedness in making this possible.”
Charging everyone present at the panel to contribute their positive quota to the public hearing, Comrade Shaibu added that Nigerians will wake up one day and appreciate this gigantic project which commences soon”.
“Nigeria will one day appreciate that Edo River Port is back to life to contribute to the growth of our country.”