Gov Wike To Partner Private Sector To Develop Industrial Base

The Rivers government has declared its commitment to work with the private sector to develop the state’s industrial base.
Gov Nyesom Wike said this, Wednesday, when he inaugurated the new Alcon Nigeria Limited Low Voltage Panels Assembly Plant in Port Harcourt, declaring that his administration would continue to work with the private sector to revive the manufacturing sector of the state.
Wike, represented by the deputy governor, Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said his administration was committed to creating the right environment for investors to develop more factories in the state.
He said: “The Rivers government will cooperate with the private sector to revive our manufacturing sector. Our commitment is to revive the Trans Amadi Industrial Layout. The ultimate goal is to generate employment opportunities for our youths. As we continue  to encourage private investors to come to the state, we urge them to look towards our youths for skilled labour, as most of them are qualified “.
The governor urged the organised private sector to form a pressure group to prevail on the Federal Government to revive the two ports in the state, adding that once the two ports became functional, they would take off the unnecessary pressure on Lagos Ports, thereby expanding the national economy.
“I want to call on the leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to work with other stakeholders  to form a pressure group to prevail on the Federal Government to make our seaports functional in Rivers.That way, the revival of our manufacturing sector will be made easier “, he said.
Wike expressed delight that Alcon Nigeria Limited sited the assembly plant in the state, maintaining that the state was safe for investors and the state government was working to make the state even more conducive for investors.
The chairman of Alcon Nigeria Limited, Dr Olatunde Ayeni, said the plant had been established to help grow the nation’s economy.
Ayeni noted that the state has a hospitable investment climate, saying he enjoys the working environment in the state.
The chairman thanked the Bank of Industry for the support that led to setting up the factory, disclosing that the facility came to fruition within two years.
Managing director of Alcon Nigeria Limited, Gerardo Della Santa, said the successful completion and operation of the factory was a landmark development.  He noted that the factory would enhance technology transfer by its operation.
Santa informed that the factory had received all required national and international certifications to produce Low Voltage Panels.
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, said the process of reviving the manufacturing sector in Port Harcourt should continue as the city deserved to be the industrial hub of the country.
“The time has come for the public and private sectors to work together to grow industries “, he said.
Ahmed noted that the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy should grow from nine per cent to 15 percent. 
“The manufacturing sector must take advantage of the African Continental Agreement on Free Trade.
“Rivers State government is one of the most private sector friendly governments in the country.  The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria will like to work with the state government to grow the sector, “he said.
The commissioning ceremony attracted the major clients of Alcon Nigeria Limited which include: SPDC, Addax, Indorama, NAOC, PHED, Greenville LNG, SNEPCO, NLNG, among others.

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