Nigeria’s oil rich Rivers State has invited investors to take advantage of the rapid ongoing developmental strides to invest in all sectors of its economy, in order to create jobs.
First-time investors would receive attractive tax incentives and easy access to land in the State, Austin Tam-George, the State Commissioner for Information and Communication said in an interview with Xinhua in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub Thursday.
“We have unique plans for investors by providing land approval within 48 hours,” he said, adding that “We will also guarantee safety of our Chinese investors.
These investors has a lot to benefit in exploiting the abundant oil and gas resources in the state, he added, noting that it is going to be a collaboration that would provide employment opportunities to the people as well as fasten Nigeria’s industrialization initiative.
Tam-George said priority has been given to security of lives and property, infrastructure development and maintenance, education, healthcare delivery and empowerment.
He said government was committed to the provision of quality facilities and restore the state’s economy back to a sustained growth path and expand economic opportunities for all.
“In the past 18 months, we have reconstructed over 200 internal roads, bridges and highways in the state and this has improved the micro economy of the state, because where people don’t have access before, they now have access,” Tam-George added.
The commissioner said the oil rich state looked forward to working with Chinese enterprises in in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, housing and property development, as well as agriculture and information and communications technology (ICT).
“We want to create jobs for our youths, give tax rebate to investors so that they can stay longer in the state. We know skills will be transfer to our youths in the process,” he added.
On security, Tam-George who dismissed security concerns about the State, saying that Rivers State is among the safest destinations for investment in the country.
He believes that the security situation in the state is not as bad as being reported and believed.
He argued that incidents of violence are not peculiar to the state as other states across the country have had notable cases of violence.
According to him, Rivers is the only state in the Niger Delta that has not witnessed severe pipeline vandalism in recent times.
The commissioner stressed that the state government through funding of security logistics and community networking has ensured the protection of national assets.
“We are protecting national assets in Rivers State and there has been no pipeline vandalism in the state,” he added.
Tam-George said activities marking the Golden Jubilee celebrations in Rivers State in May would showcase the different opportunities for investment in the state.
He assured foreign investors of security and conducive business atmosphere.
Rivers is famous for its vast reserves of crude oil and natural gas. Rivers State has two major oil refineries, two major seaports, airports, and various industrial estates spread across the land.
More than 60 percent of the country’s output of crude oil is produced in the state. In 2007, the state ranked 2nd nationwide with a gross domestic product (GDP) of 21.07 billion U.S. dollars and a per capita income of 3,965 dollars. Enditem