Rivers moves to make agric alternate revenue generator
Worried about the dwindling oil receipts, Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday said the Rivers government was working to make agriculture a major revenue earner for the state.
He hinted that his administration would partner with the Kingdom of Netherlands to build its agricultural base. Speaking during the visit by the European nation’s ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Harry Van Dijk, yesterday to Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor submitted: “We are going into agriculture in order to diversify the economy of the state. We want to partner with investors from your country to develop agriculture and create employment opportunities for our people.
“With the price of oil crashing, it is necessary to get alternative sources of income. We know that Netherlands is good in aquaculture, and we will collaborate in that area.”
Wike stated that his administration had improved security to ensure that investors operate without hindrance.
“We have developed a system to tackle criminality. We have drastically reduced the level of insecurity in the state and that has improved the business climate,” he added.
The governor pointed out that the state had made tremendous progress in infrastructure development for businesses to thrive.
“We have developed roads, and we are developing other basic infrastructure to create access across the state, he said.
The Rivers chief executive also revealed that the state had established a medical and teaching hospital to groom the next generation of doctors and medical professionals, lauding the government of Netherlands for working with relevant stakeholders to clean up polluted sites in Bodo City, Gokana Local Council of the state.
Admitting that some improvements had been made, Wike was, however, quick to add that more still needed to be done for Ogoni communities to breathe a new lease of life.
Earlier, the envoy said he was in the state to inspect the ongoing cleanup of Bodo City.
“We are here to inspect the clean up sites in Bodo City. We witnessed the replanting of the mangrove with the support of Shell Petroleum Development Company,” Dijk said.
He remarked that 800 indigenes got certificates for the training received and work done so far towards reclaiming the sites.Dijk assured his host of his home government’s willingness to discuss areas of partnership with Rivers g for the development of the state.