|Prof. Pat Utomi|
Renowned economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has advocated an urgent check to gas flaring in the country, stating that more people from the oil-rich Niger Delta region were likely to suffer increased cancer cases as a result of oil and gas exploration activities in the region.
Utomi noted that the way gas was being flared in the region, was rather turning to a curse because of the health hazards associated with gas flaring and other environmental degradation of the region.
The professor of political economy and management expert stated this in a keynote address delivered at the 2017 mid-year national conference of the Isoko Development Union, women’s wing, with its theme, “Building Healthy People and Healthy Planet” held in Isoko, Delta State on Sunday.
He said, “A healthy environment is a heritage from our fathers, but sadly we may not be able to bequeath same to our children because of activities of oil majors and our poor attitude to environmental issues.”
Utomi stated that history would not forgive the people if they failed to show concern about the degraded and polluted environment.
of oil multinationals and human’s doings.
He noted, “There is no challenge that cannot be overcome by women, because they have the milk of human kindness. So, they are critical to development and, if well educated, they can trigger development when they apply their natural strength.
“There are enough resources in the world, but sadly there are high levels of poverty because of the failure of leadership. We have leaders who don’t have the political will.”
The former presidential candidate also decried the level of poverty in the country, calling for a proper education and enlightenment campaigns for youths and children, warning that the type of education that merely promoted certificates only portended danger for the country.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the President of IDU, Amb. Caroline Usikpedo-Omoniye, called for social inclusion of women and a 50/50 affirmative action on women participation in governance, noting that if implemented, it would boost development and also empower the womenfolk.