A Youth Group, the Initiative for Youth Empowerment and Welfare Creation has called on Governor Nyesom Wike to have a rethink on the total lockdown imposed in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas.
The Executive Director of the group Abiye George said the total lockdown will have a negative effect on the economy of Rivers State.
The Youth Group in a statement also asked the Governor to grant waivers to maritime workers, and recognize them as essential service providers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Abiye George said maritime workers play an essential role in moving food and critical supplies to places in need.
”Maritime workers play an essential role in moving not only food and household goods, but also fuel, medicine, equipment, and critical supplies to places in need. He therefore urged the Rivers State governments to recognize the contribution of maritime workers towards keeping vital supply chains open. He called on the government to partner with agencies under the maritime industry to put precautionary measures in place to check the spread of COVID-19 in the maritime sector”.
”At a time when the Federal Government is opening up and making huge investments in the Eastern ports, we think it is only proper that the State government partners with the Federal government to keep ports in the State operational. Closing down the ports will ultimately lead to huge job cuts and loss of huge revenue accruable to the State” Abiye noted.
The Initiative for Youth Empowerment and Welfare Creation, however, appealed to governor Nyesom Wike to set up an Economic Advisory Team that will help him make sound decisions based on rigorous evaluation.
”We also called on the Rivers State Governor to set up an Economic Advisory Team. Inputs from the team will help the Governor make sound decisions based on rigorous evaluation. Convening experts in an advisory role will serve to inform the government’s decisions and shape future policy decisions and methodology” he stated.