From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit has been applauded by an investor and Mayor of Housing, My-Ace China, highlighting its benefits to the business community.

In an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt, China said the summit which started on Wednesday, would provide a suitable platform for critical and strategic discourse on the economic and investment potentials of the state.

He said: “The summit is to look at where the governor (Siminalayi Fubara) has done well and where to adjust. They will review roads and other projects.

“The governor is the chief host; and so, he will unveil his plans and incentives.

“Without a summit, he started the 20,000 housing project, roads to riverine areas. So, the summit will show him priorities and EoDB, new offices to enhance business, incentives, tax waivers.”

He also stated that one of the expected fallouts of the summit is that it would lead to competition among states in terms of structuring and driving their economic agenda to facilitate investment in greater opportunities.

China continued: “Abia State is now boasting with steady power. Rivers was first in that area. The healthy competition between Abia and Rivers will begin. The major impact will be rapid development as gateway towns.”

The entrepreneur urged Rivers governor to do more listening during the summit with a view to articulating a roadmap of ideas necessary for laying the right foundation for the state’s economy to take off.

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He expressed optimism that Governor Fubara would do well.

“The state government has shown focus and value so far despite the situation on the ground. But, he can do more. If he settles down, he will do wonders.

“As he listened in the Housing sector, he will listen to other areas. His Public-Private Partnership (PPP) system in the housing scheme was great. What worries land developers is land acquisition and land papers. Sometimes, they kill people just to get land.

“The governor secured the land and made the developer only face the building. He also asked that the developer take direct labour and that would give jobs to over 60,000 people.

“They are hiring many people. About 10 industries are involved in that project; sand industry, cement industry, electrical industry, etc.”

The two-day Economic and Investment Summit is billed for Wednesday and Thursday, May 22 and 23, 2024 at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre, in the state capital.

According to the organizers, the summit aims to bring together captains of industry to foster partnerships for the economic development of the state.

It would also provide would-be investors the opportunity to expand their business portfolios.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima, is expected to chair the summit, while former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Emir of Kano, His Royal Majesty, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, will be the keynote speaker.

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