Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Nigeria’s oil and gas wealthy Delta state has re-assured prospective investors that the state is very safe for investment to thrive.
The Governor who met with investment community in Lagos at the weekend stated that security challenges in the state have been reduced to the barest minimum, emphasising that enabling environment has been created for investors to do business.
Uduaghan disclosed that the state has two airports at Warri and Asabawhile the Federal Government is constructing an airstrip at Ogidigben, adding, that sea ports are located in Warri, Sapele, Burutu, Koko, and Escravos.
The governor stated that the port at Escravos was being used by an oil company and plans are on for another deep sea port to be constructed at Ogidigben.
While linking some of the security challenges that affected the state to environmental degradation that has affected the people’s sources of livelihood, Governor Uduaghan said that his administration has engaged in massive empowerment of the people which has curbed restiveness or violence, asserting, “you dare not carry out piracy in Delta Waterways because the youths in collaboration with JTF will arrest you.”
“There was problem of marginalisation by the Federal Government, state, local government and oil companies, we have tried to empower our people because crises are worsened when the people are hungry,” the Governor said, assuring potential investors of a peaceful environment devoid of violence ahead of the 2015 election.
According to him, “security issues are being well managed in Delta and I want to assure you that in 2015, Delta State will not have security challenges, everywhere will be peaceful,” emphasizing that his administration was working on a state beyond oil because, “an economy that is dependent on oil is not sustainable.”
“We have a One-Stop Shop to assist those who want to do business in Delta State,” the Governor said, noting that work has commenced at the Warri Industrial Park.
The Managing Director of Control Risk in charge of West Africa, Mr Tom Griffin said, “Delta State is a land of opportunities,” and observed that risks involved in doing business in the state are peculiar to what is happening in other parts of Africa.
Dr Salami who spoke at the occasion, noted that Delta State is the fourth highest economy in Nigeria, adding, “Delta has the foundation and is building on those foundation, there is a lot of virgin areas for people to invest on.”
The Managing Director of Chevron, Mr Andrew Fawthrop, attributed some of the negative stories from the Niger Delta to media sensationalism, adding that the area is safe for business.
Chairman of Delta State Economic Advisory Committee, Mr Bismack Rewane said Governor Uduaghan’s administration was pursuing a development programme that is not dependent on oil, stating, “we are here to sell investment opportunities, we want Delta State to be the most attractive investment destination for investors.”
Others who spoke at the occasion, including Dr David Ige of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation who disclosed that work has commenced at the gas project at Ogidigben stated that Delta is safe for industries to thrive.