Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State has developed a strong security architecture that is attracting foreign and local investors, the state governor, Nywsom Wike has said.
He made the disclosure at a meeting with Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Peter Kjemprud at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, noting that more investments were being made to further improve security in the state.
He said: “We have improved security in the state and that has given confidence to investors. We are further developing the security architecture for better security of lives and property.”
He said with improved security, most shipping companies “are returning to Onne Port in Rivers State to carry out their businesses. Onne Port is one of the biggest and best equipped ports in the country that would easily accommodate more ships and facilitate trade.”
He said the state would continue “to work out ways to partner with Norway, especially in the area of agriculture. We want to partner with your government in the area of agriculture. Our focus will be fish farming to improve our economy and empower most of our people.”
The governor called for greater cooperation between Norway and Rivers State, noting that the state government “is interested in interacting with leading investors from Norway with a view to attracting them to invest in the state.”
He urged the Norwegian government to open a consulate in Port Harcourt because of its strategic position in the economy of the country.
Also at the meeting, Kjemprud said the Norwegian government was committed to improving its relationship with the Rivers State Government in order to enhance economic growth. He said at present, Norwegian companies are working in the construction industry in Rivers State.
He said that if the Petroleum Industry Bill “is passed, businesses will grow, while jobs will be created in Rivers State and other oil producing states.”
He noted that 50 Norwegian companies “are working in the nation’s oil and gas sector.” The ambassador said that Port Harcourt “is the alternative to Lagos and would be patronised by investors.”
On the request by the state governor for the opening of Norwegian Consulate in Port Harcourt, he said steps had been taken to actualise this goal.
He invited the governor to Norway to interact with different classes of investors to enhance the economic cooperation between Norway and Rivers State.