Commerce Ministry Partners The Tide On Rivers Economic Reform

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry,
Chukuma Chinye, has solicited for the support and partnership of the media
houses in the state in sensitising the people on the economic reform agenda of
the state government.

The Commissioner made the call on Tuesday when he paid a
courtesy visit to Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, publishers of The Tide
newspapers in Port Harcourt.

He said the primary focus of the government among other
developmental programmes is to reform the process of business premises
registration, saying “we do not have a comprehensive data base of business
organisations in the state and the first thing we intend doing is to reform the
process of implementation of the registration of business premises in the
state.”

According to him, “for about 43 years now, the state does
not have a veritable data base of companies doing business and for this reason,
the present administration has embarked on the principle of know your client
(KYC). It will enable government know who is doing business, what kind of
business he is doing in the state and where the business is located,” he noted.

Chinye regretted that Rivers State is one of the places in
Nigeria with the least business data, either persons, business, homes or
activities of government, saying time has come for the implementation of the
business law.

He explained that the provision of the business registration
law is quite clear, companies are mandated to file in annual return to the
Corporate Affairs Commission and send copies to the Ministry’s Registrar of
business premises, lamenting that most of the corporate bodies are yet to
comply with this law.

The purpose, he continued, is to provide information on the
companies doing business in the state and it would be hoisted on line as well
as made available to the embassies.

He appealed to The Tide, the authoritative voice of Niger
Delta to partner with the Ministry in complementing the efforts of the state government
toward sensitising the people on the economic reform agenda of the government.

In his response, the General Manager of Rivers State
Newspaper Corporation, Celestine Ogolo, thanked the Commissioner for
recognising The Tide newspapers in this direction, noting that the
Commissioner’s visit and presentation has given us more hope that the
government is involving the media toward the economic growth of the state.

He assured to partner with the Commissioner to achieve the
laudable objective, saying that The Tide apart from being the only surviving
government paper in the country for about 41 years now, is capable of printing
all types of printable materials. He solicited for patronage and availability
of the hard copies/yellow page of the business directorate.

He commended the Rivers State government for repositioning
The Tide by providing a Rotary machine which will soon be installed.