Fair participants confirm investment security in Rivers state
The success of the just-concluded, 2017 Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, has been described as a strong pointer that Rivers State is safe for business and investment.
This was the consensus of stakeholders, economic bigwigs, government agencies, security operatives participating in the 13th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, at the Isaac Boro Park, Rivers State.
In her remark, President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, said the state provides opportunities in the creation of industrial clusters, tourism and huge potential to become a leading shipping hub in West Africa.Represented by the 2nd Deputy National President, Chief John Udeagbala, she said: “The choice of the theme for this year’s fair, Nigeria Industrial Sector Beyond Oil, is apt, as it captures the current state of the Nigeria economy, as characterised by a dependence on revenues from crude oil.”She opined that “a focus on the industrial sector as the panacea for attaining sustainable economic growth and development, will open discussions on the ways and means to ensure the development of the industrial sector beyond oil.”
Also speaking, the President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (PHCCIMA), Dr Emi Membere-Otaji, said the Chamber will continue to facilitate and ensure that business thrived in Rivers state, Niger Delta and the country at large. He said: “As a Chamber, we have continued to do our bit to stimulate our state and regional economy and the persistent organisation of the Port Harcourt International Trade Fair is part of our committed effort and strides.”He explained that the theme for the 2017 fair was carefully chosen to re-direct consciousness to the new realities, with a view to preparing operators for the challenges ahead.
“In Rivers state we are lucky because we have potentials in other areas including shipping, ports and huge prospect to achieve the zero oil and diversification mantra of the federal government,” he said.
Former Governor of old Rivers State, and Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, King Alfred Diette Spiff, urged that youths be engaged and given responsibility to serve, noting that when such opportunities are given, youths become better focused. Spiff, a one-time President of PHCCIMA, also urged all to invest in Agriculture, the rave of the moment, especially, mushroom farming, as it provides potential for growth, and economic sustainability for individuals and families.
Representative of the Rivers State Governor and Chairman, State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce, Hon. Enemi Alabo George, argued that Government cannot function effectively without the participation of the Organised Private sector (OPS).
According to him, part of the government’s objective is to create a platform to make the OPS and businesses generally thrive, and to provide the enabling environment. “We must commend our Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, who has graciously invested in security to ensure Rivers state is safe for investors, including on infrastructural development across the state.”
The Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Zone C, Sanusi Umar, represented of Aminu Abba, said the agency will continue to provide a platform to facilitate trade and access to import and export business to thrive.
The South South Coordinator, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Azuka Ihejiofor, said the fair afforded NEPC the opportunity to identify new innovations that will support the zero oil plan, with a view to bracing up to the challenges ahead.
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