That Wike’s Chatham House Visit


Reputed to be Nigeria’s political conscience in the current democratic dispensation, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike was, in the past one week, in the news, exuding and savouring unprecedented international media klieg light.
First, Wike had mounted the rostrum in faraway New York City in the United States of America, where he was presented a Global Human Settlements Outstanding Contributions Award for his great commitment and contributions to sustainable cities in Rivers State.
Thereafter, on his way home, he made a stopover in London and visited the prestigious Financial Times of London headquarters and was later hosted by the top echelon of the Westminster Africa Business Group, an assembly of select British Parliamentarians and the British business community, for the sole purpose of attracting foreign investments to the State.
The governor’s invitation by the Royal Institute of International Affairs popularly known as Chatham House in London, where he delivered a thought-provoking lecture was unarguably an icing on the cake in his international forays to put Rivers State on the world map.
Incidentally, Governor Wike made history by being the first serving governor in Nigeria to be honoured with the rare privilege of addressing the world at the Chatham House.
Speaking on the topic, “Defining Development in Rivers State and Steps for Sustainable Implementation,” Wike held his audience spellbound, as he frontally highlighted some of the developmental and political challenges facing Nigeria, and Rivers State in particular, at the moment.
The governor’s visit to Chatham House to woo investors to Rivers State could not have come at a better time than now when the country’s revenue allocation formula is skewed in favour of the Federal Government to the detriment of the States, coupled with the neglect and marginalization of the State by the present federal authorities and the atrocious activities of the police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the State.
Indeed, The Tide commends Governor Wike for the bold initiative of showcasing the State to the international community and for dispelling rumours orchestrated by the opposition that the State is unsafe for foreign investment. Such foreign trips are surely what the State badly needs today to bolster her towering economic profile.
We make bold to testify to the governor’s boast that the litany of investment icons and players domiciled in Rivers State, which include major oil and gas companies from Britain, United States, Italy, France and Russia, among others, clearly stands out Rivers State as the hub of Nigeria’s hydro-carbon sector, even as other investment opportunities abound in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, transportation and other sub-sectors.
With the enabling environment created for investments to thrive and flourish in the State and the new and enviable standards set by Wike’s administration in good governance and service delivery, there is no gainsaying the fact that Rivers State is, indeed, an investor’s haven.
Governor Wike’s stopover in London, particularly his address at the Chatham House was, therefore, a bold and calculative effort to put the State on sound economic footing.
We hope that the governor would undertake similar trips at a no distant future to other parts of the world like China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, among others, to attract more direct investments to the State. We say this because ultimately, Rivers people will be the direct beneficiaries of such trips in terms of job creation and economic opportunities.
Under Wike’s administration, The Tide, like every well-meaning stakeholder in the State, looks forward to a good inflow of more business activities and investments that will make the State the Dubai of the West African sub-region. This, we believe, can be achieved if the State government explores more international outreaches to market the State and her potentials.
Indeed, with the influx of investments into the State, most of the challenges staring the State and her people in the face will be squarely addressed.