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Prioritize N5bn Grant To Riverine Communities – Bayelsa Activist

A human rights activist, Mr. Alagoa Morris, has advised Bayelsa State Government to utilise the N5billion approved by the Federal Government to improve the living standard of the people, particularly those in riverine communities.

Morris, the Bayelsa State Coordinator of Environmental Right Action and Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), said Bayelsa is about 70 per cent water and the people have not been finding it easy eking out a living because they have been groaning under the severe weight of subsidy removal.

He urged the State Government to ensure that concrete things were done to ameliorate the poor power supply in the state, which had become worrisome.

Morris said: “In places like Bayelsa State, all over the years they have been talking about the removal of fuel subsidy and all of that, there is no time they have remembered people in the creeks, even though former Governor Seriake Dickson and Governor Douye Diri have been singing the swansong that Bayelsa State is more riverine than Rivers State.

“Yet, even in Bayelsa that is most riverine, they always forget the people in the creeks. There is no government supported marine crafts in the creeks. They only talk about buses and taxis.

“So, if they will remember the people in the creeks now who have been spending money for transport fare to come to the state capital as if they are going to Lagos or Enugu, I think the people in the creeks will appreciate it.

“The State Government should be intentional about the plight of those in the riverine by doing tangible things in the creeks.

“I do know that the N5billion may not be enough to solve most of the sufferings of the people. However, ‘Bayelsans’ want to see tangible results in the turnaround of the power situation in the state.

“It is extremely poor and if there is constant power supply, especially now that the Federal Government has placed it on the concurrent list, the government should ensure there is regular supply of electricity.

“The development will improve the economy of the state and ease the pressure of people spending humongous amount of money on buying fuel.

“The peasant farmers maintaining the local economy in terms of agriculture need tools and equipment to boost their occupation. We want to see practical things done in that sector to ameliorate the sufferings of the people”.

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