Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has inaugurated the state Ease of Doing Business Council (EODBC) with a view to improving the investment and business environment in the oil-rich state.
While unveiling the council yesterday in Port Harcourt, he noted that the move was critical to the economic development of the state and urged the council to improve its investment environment. He said, “It is important that we have this council to improve the investment climate and create the environment that will attract investors to the state.
“The council will draw up programmes and policies to create the platform for the ease of doing business in Rivers State.”Governor Wike said members of the committee were drawn from the public and private sectors to ensure that all sectors were accommodated in the drive to enhance business opportunities in Rivers.He added that the Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo would chair the council because of the importance government attached to the ease of doing business.
“I believe that members of the council will live up to the expectations of Rivers people. That the Deputy Governor is the Chairman of the council shows how important it is to the state government. “These are people with the right experience and expertise and I believe that they will deliver the very best on this assignment,” he added.Responding, Banigo assured the governor and people of the state that the council would develop policies that would attract investors to the state. Her words: “The council is charged with the responsibility of evolving implementable strategies for businesses to thrive.
“Government’s policies on tax harmonisation, infrastructure development, health, education, security and the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy, are pointers to the resolve to advance an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.”She, however, lamented that the enemies of Rivers State tried to de-market it through negative propaganda, noting that the council would speedily handle the assignment to make Rivers State exemplary in the ease of doing business.
“The focus will be on deepening the reforms already started in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to drive productivity, create jobs, restore investors confidence and increase foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the state,” she stated. She added that the council would engage with public and private stakeholders to ensure that the right policies and programmes are created for the good of Rivers people.
Other members of the council are, Commissioner of Finance, Isaac Kamalu, Attorney-General of Rivers State, Professor Zacchaeus Adangor, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Nwamkpa, Chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Ezu Chibudhom, President, Nigeria Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum, Nabil Saleh, Chairman, Rivers Internal Revenue Service, ThankGod Adaoge Norteh and Branch Controller, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), R. A. Randle.