Warri: How Cookies Crumble

Gradual Death is very painful. It is better that a man falls down and die at once instead of dying gradually.

Warri/Delta state economy is facing serious recession because of then relocation of various companies from the oil rich city.

It has become a source of worry and concern for those who grew up in the oil rich city of Warri, as they live to see the area becoming a ghost of itself. This is as a result of the economic down turn of the city.

Before now, companies like Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Chevron, Schlumberger, Pan Ocean to mention but a few; were amongst the companies that attracted both local and international concerns. Individuals working in banks and other big establishments like shipping companies and haulage companies who saw the booming nature of the Warri environment were forced to change their base and relocated to the city, just as the area witnessed the growth of small and medium scale industries.

Suddenly the city began to experience the exodus of these multinational and international companies to other areas of their choice. The most recent and notable ones are SPDC, SCHLUMBERGER, PAN OCEAN e.t.c. who have moved their headquarters to Lagos, Port Harcourt and Benin city.

While all these are going on in Warri and Delta state in general, the state government and rich individuals from the state, never give a hoot to this ignoble act. Rather than taking steps to forestall this, they have seen it as an opportunity to enrich themselves the more as it have been revealed that these group of people were busy buying off SPDC facilities like the Hospital, office and juicy facilities in Edjeba.

One vital question begging for answer is the role of government in our society. There is no gainsaying the fact that one of the major role of government is to create an enabling environment for business to thrive, job creation/reduction of unemployment. It is also the responsibility of government to protect lives and properties. Government that is alive to it’s responsibilities will do all that is expected of it and in return benefit from taxes and revenue paid by individuals and companies operating in the state.

But the reverse is now the case as these companies have relocated to other states because the state government has not lived up to expectation. As a result of this, what we have are societal vices such as kidnapping, threat to lives and property, bad roads and filthy environment, communal threats emanating from area boys who often demand for high developmental levies popularly called “ deve” from prospective investors.

It will not be out of place to conclude that those saddled with the responsibility of overseeing the growth of our economy and ensuring that freedom of movement is guaranteed, have woefully failed us. What could one say of the rich people who are having maximum security, going about with uniform/armed gun men? This is equivalent to saying that they are in prison because they lack freedom even in their villages. Consequently, the relocation of these companies have left behind it’s wake high rate of unemployment, increase in crime and criminality, impoverishment of the people, low internally generated revenue ( IGR) and desertion of the city and it’s environs. We hereby call on the Delta state government to face the situation headlong by taking steps that will not only address the high rate of crime in the society but make efforts to see that more multinational companies are attracted back to the state.

We hereby call on the state government to look into this situation as a matter of urgency to revamp this ailing economy which has the capacity to affect our generation yet unborn.

*Oghogoviano Omochoja Writes From Warri, Delta State, Nigeria.

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News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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