The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has advised the people of the Niger Delta region, to start thinking on what will be the main economic base of the region when the use of oil becomes obsolete in the next few years.
PANDEF national president, Senator Emmanuel Essien, gave the advice in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Tuesday, while speaking at the official opening ceremony of the Rivers State office of the Forum and the inauguration of its executives in the 23 local government areas of the state.
Essien said: “In the next few years, the world may not be driven by the oil coming from the Niger Delta region. It may become obsolete in the few years because electric engines are being developed to replace combustible engines.
“Even for aeroplanes, they are developing electric engines to fly planes. Which means that in the next few years, they may not need fuel. So, what will the Niger Delta become in the next few years? We have to look beyond the oil in the region. We have to think beyond the oil.”
Earlier in his welcome address, chairman of PANDEF in Rivers State and former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Kenneth Minimah (Rtd), said the activities, programmes and policies of the group were premised primarily on the peace, unity and development of the Niger Delta region.
Minimah said: “Suffice it to say that the role of PANDEF, its ideals and objectives are all premised, primarily, on the unity, peace and development of the Niger Delta region.
“I believe we all chose to be here because of our shared passion for the region, the people and our desire to be part of efforts to change the damning directives.
“In the coming months, we will do our best to build on the events of today and endeavour to entrench PANDEF at the grassroots with the message of unity, peace and development.”