Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that the state government is working to make agriculture a major revenue earner for the state, in view of the dwindling revenue from oil.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Ambassador of Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr Harry Van Dijk on Thursday at the Government House Port Harcourt, the Governor said that the state government will partner with the Kingdom of Netherlands to build its agricultural base.
He said: “We are going into agriculture in order to diversify the economy of the state. We want to partner with investors from your country to develop agriculture and create employment opportunities for our people.
“With the price of oil crashing, it is necessary to get alternative sources of income. We know that the Netherlands is good in aquaculture and we will collaborate in that area”
The Rivers State Governor noted that his administration has improved security to ensure that investors operate freely without hindrance.
He said: “We have developed a system to tackle criminality. We have drastically reduced the level of insecurity in the state and that has improved the business climate”.
He added that the state has made tremendous progress in terms of infrastructure for businesses to thrive.
“We have developed roads and we are developing other basic infrastructure to create access across the state”, he said.
The Governor added that the State Government has established a medical and teaching hospital to groom the next generation of doctors and medical professionals.
He commended the Government of Netherlands for working with relevant stakeholders to clean up impacted sites in Bodo City, Gokana Local Government Area.
He said that some improvements have been made, but it is not enough as the Ogoni communities need total remediation to carry on with their lives.
Earlier, Ambassador of Kingdom of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Mr Harry Van Dijk said that he was in the state to inspect ongoing clean up exercise in Bodo City.
“We are here to inspect the cleanup sites in Bodo City. We witnessed the replanting of the mangrove with the support of Shell Petroleum Development Company”, he said.
The Ambassador said that 800 people from Bodo Community got certificates for the training they received and work they have been doing to reclaim sites.
He added that the Government of Netherlands is willing to discuss areas of partnership with the Rivers State Government for the development of the state.