Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says his administration has implemented sound economic policies and programmes that have made the state the investment destination of Nigeria.
Wike, who disclosed this on Tuesday in London during a special investment programme organised for Rivers State by the Financial Times tagged: “Invest in Rivers State”, told the select investors at the event that return on investment in the state is the highest in Nigeria.
The governor said, “The government of Rivers State remains committed to making Rivers State the best place in Nigeria to live, work and do business through the implementation of sound policies and creating the enabling peaceful, secure and friendly environment for doing business in Rivers State. Investors are warmly welcomed, Rivers State awaits you.”
He assured intending investors that his administration has lined out incentives that has made the state investor friendly.
Wike said, “The Rivers State government under his leadership has provided visibility gap funding, minimum revenue guarantee, provision of land for development, provision of subsidies and reduction of/exemption from payment of taxes and levies.
“There is a stable, focused and progressive government that is committed to the state’s economic objectives, which is to build a strong, balanced and growing economy for Rivers State.
“The government has created the most business friendly environment for Rivers State with unprecedented investments in infrastructure, tax reforms and related economic incentives to reduce cost of doing business.
“We have given unprecedented attention to security of lives and property, Rivers State is now safe and secure for businesses and investors.”
The governor stated that his administration has eliminated double taxation, instituted expeditious processing and grant of land documents, facilitation of investment processes and regulatory approvals.
He said intending investors in oil and gas would benefit from the presence of the Oil and Gas Free Zone in the state, noting that the facility provides opportunities for the establishment of businesses across the oil and gas value chain.
Wike declared that the state government has institutionalised laws, processes and policies to protect investments in the state.
The governor said, “Besides national laws, the Rivers State Government has also put in place appropriate legal framework to promote and protect investments in the state.”
He stated that as a gateway into the South-South and South-East zones, Rivers State also boasts of immense investment opportunities in the area of information and communication technology.
Wike said there are remarkable investment opportunities in the areas of tourism and hospitality, pointing out that as the destination of choice for organisers of events, conferences and sporting events, Rivers State investment climate will reward any foreign investor.
The governor stated that the successes recorded by establishing the innovative Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, which is now a regional centre of tourism, attracting several thousands of Nigerian and foreign visitors.
He informed the European investors that investment opportunities exist at the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, where his administration has established framework for public-private partnerships, land subsidies and the development of infrastructure.
Wike stated that there are investment opportunities in the area of manufacturing where investors can take advantage of the Trans-Amadi Industrial Estate, adding that Public Housing and property development remain another profitable outlet because of the population of the state.
The governor maintained that the availability of vast arable land and water, make Rivers State the national hub of agriculture and agro processing.
He said, “The state’s population, including the middle class is increasing in geo-metric proportions. Besides, the availability of a young educated, skilled and semi-skilled population eager for employment offers abundant workforce and large emerging and relatively untapped market for consumer products and services.”
Wike stated that Rivers State possesses abundant natural resources, two existing seaports, an international airport and Nigeria’s second largest economy, waiting for credible international investors.
In his remarks, Commercial Director of Financial Times in-charge of Africa and Middle East, Mark Cowardine assured the governor that the message of the investment potentials of Rivers State will promote economic growth in the state.
Vice Chairman of Westminster Africa Business Group, Mr Tim Johnsen noted that the presentation of Wike has highlighted key areas of investments to be explored by European Investors.
The Chief Executive Officer of Invest Africa and United Kingdom Business Council for Africa, Karen Taylor stated that the state government has redefined the economic advantage of Rivers State, making it attractive to the world.