President Goodluck Jonathan said yesterday that states in the Niger Delta region will witness economic boom and infrastructural development beyond oil and gas if they remain united and sustain the existing peace in the region.
Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo at the opening ceremony of the Maiden edition of the Bayelsa Investment and Economic Forum (BSIEFORUM), the president said though the focus of the states should be on agricultural and non-oil investment initiatives, the peace and unity of the region is paramount to economic growth.
Mr Jonathan, who was governor of Bayelsa State for two years before he was picked as running mate to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, described the economic forum as a great opportunity to secure and acquire knowledgeable ideas in diversifying the economy.
He added that without peace, the leadership of the states in the region may not be able to plan and implement such plans for the benefit of the people.
According to President Jonathan, “What is required is the peace in the Niger Delta. Without peace, you cannot plan, and when you plan, you would not be able to implement for the people that it is meant. Disunity will hamper policies and development. Without peace and unity, development will be hampered”.
He commended the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, for the continued implementation of the state’s master plan.