Rivers, Good For Business -Ovia, Duke …As Wike Showcases Investment Opportunities

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike (right), addressing residents, after inspecting ongoing construction of Garrison-Trans Amadi-Elelewo Road in Port Harcourt, yesterday. With him is Senator George Thompson Sekibo (right).

Founder, Zenith Bank Plc and Visafone Communications Limited, Chief Jim Ovia has declared that Rivers State is richly endowed and good for business, based on his personal experience with doing business in the State.
The serial entrepreneur and business mogul made the declaration during the showcase session on investment opportunities in Rivers State, which was part of the ongoing Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) holding in Lagos.
Ovia, who is also the chairman of the Nigerian Software Development Initiative noted that no other state in Nigeria could boast of two seaports, two airports in addition to a youth population that is success-driven with a per capita income of over $3,000, which he said, were good indices for measuring prosperity and economic opportunities.
He said the economy of Rivers State compares favourably with countries such as Rwanda, Kenya and Ghana, and assured that the state was on a steady path of prosperity.
Former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, who was in attendance at the showcase session along with his wife, Mrs. Onari Duke, was emphatic about the investment opportunities in Rivers State.
Duke, who said, “the taste of the pudding is in the eating,” also declared that from experience, he could tell that Rivers State was good for business.
Earlier, Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, who described himself as the Chief Marketer of the State, in his welcome address at the event, informed participants that the achievements recorded in his two years in office could not have been but for the presence of peace and security in Rivers State.
The governor, who was represented by the Attorney- General of Rivers State and Commissioner for Justice, Emma Aguma, (SAN) used the opportunity to call on Rivers people to be proud of their identity and heritage and rise to defend the image of their state.
He noted in particular that although a state like Lagos has had the prevalence of kidnappings, ritual killings and cult crises from Badoo cultists, Lagosians had neither taken business out of Lagos nor de-marketed Lagos State in any way.
“In this Lagos State, children have been kidnapped from schools. We don’t experience this in Rivers State. Yet, nobody has taken business out of Lagos as a result. We hear of Badoo cult clashes in Lagos State. Yet, business is still thriving in Lagos.
“Lagosians have not called Lagos all manner of unprintable names. It is this same attitude we must adopt as Rivers people. We must refuse to de-market our state, especially since no society is free of crime,” he said.
Wike added that “the investment in security by the Rivers State Government is second to none in the Nigerian Federation”, stressing that the confidence of the business community and residents was always assured.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mahmoud Abubakar, SAN, commended Wike for his support to the association and his development-focused governance to the people of Rivers State, and called on investors to freely take advantage of the opportunities available in the state to expand the frontiers of their businesses.
The highpoint of the session was the presentation of investment opportunities in Rivers State by Director General of the Rivers State Bureau for Public-Private Partnerships, Hon. Nimi Walson-Jack which covered agriculture, hospitality, tourism, housing and power.
The presentation also showcased existing opportunities for Public-Private Partnership in the state.
The showcase session, which was a mix of legal practitioners and members of the business community from across Nigeriawas chaired by former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Onueze Chukwujinka Okocha, SAN.