By Simeon Nwakaudu
While commissioning the Ogbunabali Internal Roads in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike challenged the APC Leadership in the state to point out any state of the Federation that has performed up to his administration. They shied away from the challenge because it would involve throwing up empirical data.
All across the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State, Governor Wike has touched the people directly. He has connected with them in very profound ways, hence they are always supportive of his administration as they displayed during the last general elections.
The growth of Rivers State under the leadership of Governor Wike cannot be questioned. In the economic sector, the growth has been phenomenal. Even the most unreasonable critic of the Rivers State Governor admit that the governor’s policies and programmes have attracted key investments to the state.
These investments attracted by Governor Wike’s policies and programmes have created thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Some of these investments are among the biggest anywhere in the country. The quantum of foreign funds invested in Rivers State under the leadership of Governor Wike is exceptional.
Despite the security challenges being faced by the state, it is one of the safest states in the country. Rivers State is one of the states where the State Government has created the right climate for investors to do business. The Governor personally drives the investment process, intervening whenever the need arises.
Very important companies have been established or expanded in Rivers State since Nyesom Ezenwo Wike became the Rivers State Governor in 2015. These companies have improved the economy of the state.
Greenville Liquefied Natural Gas Plant, Rumuji
This is one of the biggest foreign direct investments anywhere in the country under this dispensation. This facility was started and delivered during the first term of Governor Wike. On different occasions, the Rivers State Governor inspected the progress of work and ensured the investor had a cordial working relationship with the host community.
The massive LNG Gas Plant which has already started production is worth $500million (USD).
According to official statistics, the Greenville plant has 3 liquefaction trains which produce 2250 Tons/day; an initial fleet of 300 LNG fueled trucks and 23MT cryogenic tankers, which travel more than 1000km without refueling. Greenville is a one stop solution providing LNG as fuel for industries, transportation and gas to power anywhere in Nigeria; with a capacity to supply 1MW to 250MW of LNG.
The Chairman, Greenville LNG, Eddy Broeke, said, “Our mission is to bridge the natural gas supply gap in order to promote economic and social development and revive moribund industries across the country. We’ve invested about $450m to $500m on this project.
“And this is because we have to build the whole infrastructure on our own, which includes the construction of filling stations for our product on strategic locations across the country.”
According to Broeke, the plant currently has a total capacity of 2,250 tonnes of LNG per day, which is about 750 million tonnes per year.
This facility has created employment opportunities for Rivers people and other Nigerians. The facility has also contributed to the expansion of the state’s internally generated revenue base.
Trains 1 and 2 of Indorama Eleme Fertiliser
Under the leadership of Governor Wike, Train 1 of Indorama Eleme Fertiliser Plant was delivered and commissioned. The Foreign Investors expended $1.5billion to complete this project which came on stream in June , 2017.
This facility has the capacity to produce 1. 5million tonnes of urea Fertilizer. It is one of the largest single train for the production of Fertiliser in the world.
At present, Indorama is investing $3.2billion to construct the Train 2 of the Fertiliser Plant in Eleme.
The second train project will produce 1.5million metric tonnes of urea fertilizer.
It is a replication of the first train, which also has capacity for 1.5millilon metric tonnes.
ALCON LOW VOLTAGE PANELS ASSEMBLY PLANT IN PORT HARCOURT
This is a major production facility that was recently completed and commissioned in Port Harcourt. It is a key technological company that will serve different important clients in the Niger Delta.
The Low Voltage Panels Assembly Plant seeks to bridge the current gap of providing value added quality products to the local market as an authorised channel partner builder with ABB (one of the largest multinational electrical engineering organisation).
In addition to ABB Certification as authorised panel builders operating IEC 61439 Part 1 and 2 Construction of Low Voltage Assemblies, the company also has ISO 14001:2015 Certificates for Quality and Environmental Systems, SON Certification for MANCAP and Category A NCEC Certificate for Electrical Switchgear and Panel Building from the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Liquid Waste Treatment Plant in Port-Harcourt
The Liquid Waste Treatment Plant was commissioned in June, 2019 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The owners invested $8million to actualize the project.
Port Harcourt Dockyard Liquid Waste Treatment Plant is in place is to clean up the maritime industry by collecting oil wastes and transforming them into meaningful by-products.
Turkish Airlines now in Port Harcourt
There is a new international route into Port Harcourt and the entire Niger Delta. Turkish Airlines started operations in Port Harcourt towards the end of June, 2019. This International airline is waxing strong by the day.
More Nigerians from the South-east and the Niger Delta have found the new airline as a necessary option to access Asia and Eastern Europe.
Next Cash and Carry Shopping Mall, Port Harcourt
Located at Oginigba Community, Next Cash and Carry is the biggest shopping Mall in West Africa. It was built and delivered during the Wike Administration by a private investor. Like other major private investments, Governor Wike was usually on ground to help in community relations and ensure progress of work was never hindered.
At the commencement of operations, the mall offered direct employment to 300 persons, while 700 direct jobs will be created at the height of operations. Thousands of indirect jobs have been created by the location of the Shopping Mall in Port Harcourt.
Economic Lifeline to Small and Medium Sized Businesses
Since 2015, Governor Wike has taken profound measures to encourage small and medium sized businesses through loans and grants. The essence of these investments is to promote entrepreneurship and essence economic development of the state.
Special loans have been disbursed to artisans, shop owners, civil servants, women and youths to grow their businesses. Therefore, as the Rivers State Governor encourages the big players to invest in the state, he also supports the small businesses to develop.
OBVIOUS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
From the very beginning, Governor Wike set out to make Rivers State a strong industrial and economic base of the country. Four years down the line, the ultimate goal is in sight. With no encouragement from the hostile APC Federal Government, Governor Wike is left with the responsibility of single-handedly creating the right environment for businesses to thrive.
He has invested in infrastructure, security and has streamlined taxation to make Rivers State attractive to foreign and local investors .
As a result of the genuine inputs of the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Wike, investors have continued to ignore the negative propaganda of APC leaders. They troop to Rivers State in their numbers and the result is visible. Therefore, the economic growth of Rivers State is a given. It is beyond propaganda.