In furtherance of its goal of amplifying the voices of the people of the Niger Delta, towards enlightening the world on the challenges that the region is confronted with, the SING Foundation held the maiden edition of its SING Talks Lounge. The programme, which was broadcast live on the organization’s social media handles, had Arc Ezekiel Nya-Etok frontline architect and Niger Delta advocate as guest discussing the theme: Nigeria at 58: Looking Beyond the Oil Economy of the Niger Delta.
The programme, which was hosted by the Director of Human Resources and Research of SING Foundation Dr. Itari Turner, x-rayed the theme under three broad areas of Education, Poverty and Good Governance.
Arc. Nya-Etok called for impartation of three types of education which are “formal, informal and empowerment education”.
On governance Arc. Nya-Etok harped on the “need to enlighten the people to know that government is to be run by the most competent individuals”. Buttressing his argument further, he stressed that “we don’t allow people that run down business enterprises continue their terms in office and even give them an opportunity for more tenures so why do we do the same for our government offices where a single policy can make or break the whole system?” Arc. Nya-Etok also called for cutting excess expenditure of governors and the presidency on unnecessary frivolities such as entertainment of the endless streams of guest that throng our government houses.
On the future of the Niger Delta, Arc. Nya-Etok posited that his dream is “for the Niger Delta is to be the preferred destination in the country and not because of the oil but because of our coastal areas”, highlighting the “need to develop tourism and reorganise our people to look at the derivatives and options. We need to look beyond oil and outside oil, create industries that will create a new economy, looking at the needs of the world to strategically develop a system that serves the needs of the world”.
He demanded that the region “focus on improving and developing skills, raw materials and human capital to become a self-sustainable”, while appreciating the fact that “SING is already doing commendable work in these areas and should magnify their efforts so as to achieve a wider reach and greater impact”.
The SING Talks Lounge will be held periodically to bring Niger Delta issues to the attention of the government and international community.