By NWADIKE UGOCHUKWU
THE Governor of Rivers State, Chief Barr Nyesome Ezenwo Wike has assured investors of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State.
Chief Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo at Port Harcourt business luncheon organised by PHCCIMA with the theme: Business Opportunities in Nigeria, Beyond Oil and The Ease of Doing Business in Rivers State, pointing out that the security challenges are being tackled with the support of security Agencies to ensure the protection of life and property throughout the State.
The governor lauded the leadership of PHCCIMA for providing a platform for discussion, pledging to collaborate with the body to ensure that the State returns to its former glory as investors’ haven.
Speaking at the event, President, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Dr. Emi Membere Otaji, said Nigerian economy has been over stressed as a result of over dependence on the Oil sector and called for urgent diversification effort to stimulate the economy.
He expressed strong faith in the ability of the country to bounce back saying “real opportunity exist for Nigeria to inject new dynamism into its economy through a productivity- and investment-led transformation with effort in diversification of the economy to help ensure future growth, employment, and prosperity.
The PHCCIMA helmsman added that faster productivity growth requires better business regulation and more openness to competition, trade, and investment, diversification to agriculture and solid minerals, Improved efficiency of spending and new revenue sources, possibly including taxes, and stressed the need for Government to embark on massive sensitization and education of investors on the ease of doing business in the State.
Also affirming this assertion was the key note speaker at the Port Harcourt business luncheon, and director of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Folusho Phillips, who said there is life beyond oil but Nigerian government must however accept the reality that oil is truly gone and focus their energies to developing vigorously comparative advantage and competences that will drive the economy and make up for years of dependence on oil.