Rivers Youths Disrupt NPA, Oil, Gas Zone Operations

National assets and operations at the Nigerian Ports Authority, including the Onne oil and gas free zone in Eleme local government area of Rivers State, are under threat following two days of protest by youths in the area over alleged marginalisation by the companies there.

The Onne youths who began their protests on Monday had blocked the entrance of the free zone for two days, expressing dismay that despite hosting over 50 companies, the people have no jobs, while the area remains underdeveloped.

Scores of them who spoke to journalists said the NPA, Onne Ports, which houses the Federal Ocean Terminal have not impacted on their lives despite operating on their land for decades.

The youths said they were part of the ongoing protest against police brutality and an end to bad governance, even as they demanded a separate local government from Eleme.

They said Onne given its landmass, population and resources was viable enough to have a separate local government and called on the government to look into it.

When contacted, an official of the NPA who pleaded anonymity said employment was controlled from the headquarters, adding that recently online recruitment was advertised for qualified persons to apply. The official lauded the protesting youths for being peaceful since the protest began, adding that the authority was already looking into the demands presented to it.

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