By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
In line with its corporate mission to highlight the environmental and socio – economic issues confronting the Niger – Delta region, National Point newspaper is organising an annual public lecture and public presentation of books as part of activities marking its 10th anniversary celebration.
A statement signed by the Executive Director of the Port- Harcourt based weekly, Ms Ibiba Don Pedro noted that the Lecture, with the theme: ‘Niger- Delta Next Decade: Away with Oil, a way from oil,’ will examine burning issues facing the oil- rich but beleaguered region. These include youth restiveness, a future without oil, environmental degradation, gas flaring which lead to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular ailments besides the devastating effects on livelihoods, businesses, social life among others.
“We believe strongly that there’s a need to continously bring these issues to the Public sphere so they can be tackled with the urgency they deserve. In a few decades, oil will become irrelevant as a commodity so what happens to the Niger Delta’s environment then that has been despoiled by over six decades of oil exploitation and exploration activities? The region will require billions of dollars for its clean- up. Where’s this money going to come from? These are some of the issues we need to address urgently, ” she stated.
On the newspaper, she disclosed that National Point was set up in 2007, by a small group of activists and public interest journalists to professionally manage a newspaper with a vision to provide robust reporting of Niger Delta / South-South persons, places and issues.
Besides the anniversary event / awards / First Annual Lecture holding in Port Harcourt in November, there’s also a public presentation of Books/Discussion in Lagos on October 26, 2017 and the launch of the Niger Delta Women International Resource & Development Centre, NDWIRED Centre project scheduled for unveiling at the award ceremony, the statement added.