By Alphonsus Effi
The South-south region of Nigeria is facing a major dilemma, when shall the provider of the Golden fleece of our economy benefit from federal government inflow of infrastructure and employment echoed fervently by the present next level administration in Nigeria.
For decades, especially after the discovery of oil at Oloibiri in Rivers State and subsequently in other areas of the Niger Delta only few or no federal government institution are thriving in these regions.
Thus, culminating in mass poverty, unemployment and degradation in these region hence amounting to the brigandage and other attendance of social ills that are usually the turnover of such neglect.
Presently, the Federal government under the Buhari/Osinbajo administration (APC) to be precise are launching a beautiful Railway project in Niger Delta region supervised by the transport minister Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, an indigene of the Niger Delta region, this is a massive blessing in disguise and the people were happy that the project is in the hands of illustrious son of the soil.
Federal government presence will be visible concerning the construction of Railways to benefit the strategic areas of the Niger Delta for commercial and humanitarian purposes, since the Niger Delta is an enviable region for mineral resources like Oil and Gas, enough rail tankers can be transported to their areas of usage and other areas.
The free flow of services of the large majority of the Niger Deltans living in cities linking them to the interiors of their region.
These are services Nigerians from the West, North and Eastern region have been enjoying from the colonial era, despite the fact that the finances used in constructing and managing these rail lines are generated from Niger Delta.
Another point is that these great infrastructures will provide jobs for the teaming unemployed Niger Delta youths that are qualified.
Thus disengaging them from acts of militancy, kidnapping and other social ills they are confronted and attracted to readily because of unemployment and idleness.
Even without being employed directly by the railways, but the mere presence of the railways in their corridors, economic opportunities like trading their farms produce and other wares along-side rail stations and their environs will go a long way to keep them busy and earn some monies.
These are advantages fellow Nigerians from the West, East and North have been benefiting over time since the inception of the railways in Nigeria.
Hence, the need for the railways to be connected directed from a major commercial city like Lagos, the Iddo Terminus to be precise, crisscrossing to Edo State further to Delta State connecting Bayelsa to Rivers State is long overdue.
The government should utilise these as a grand opportunity to establish federal government presence in these Southern region that is the cash cows for these sublime polity.
Prominently the endeavor of the federal government in providing the Ajaokuta, Itape, Warri and Onne lines are welcome development subsequently, to these extent the Creekvibes analysts are appealing to the federal government to build more standard gauge lines in these South-southern region to alleviate the suffering of the masses and establish their presence in a region that has provided enormously to Nigeria’s development.