The Rivers State government has said it is committed to developing the agricultural sector and using the state’s enormous potential for the benefit of the people of Rivers.
State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike said so yesterday during a Norwegian Seafood Council seminar at the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt.
Represented by his deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said: âIn the face of falling oil prices and the need to diversify the economy, we see a lot of potential in the seafood industry, in particular. after Covid-19. It is an important industry for creating employment opportunities, generating income and stimulating economic activities in our region â.
Wike, who said Rivers State is one of the Niger Delta coastal states with valuable seafood resources, revealed that Norway and Nigeria have a long history of relations and trade.
According to the governor, âRivers State, known as Nigeria’s oil and gas hub, is open for business in all sectors, including maritime, and welcomes more partnerships and investments from stakeholders who wish to do business in the state â.
Wike added, âIn an effort to grow our economy, the Rivers State government is supporting the development of laws that work for all of us, putting laws in place to improve the efficiency of society. Hence the assent and signature of the VAT law â.
The Managing Director of Rivers State, who commended the Norwegian Seafood Council for hosting the seminar in the state, noted that stock fish is enjoyed in Rivers State by all groups, including low and high incomes, while both men and women are involved in selling our markets.
âI think this seminar will look at the many benefits and gains from seafood as well as the support expected from the Norwegian Embassy in the areas of encouraging deep sea fishing, trawlers, proper storage of seafood products. the sea, training to raise and maintain fish production standards, fish ponds and open fish farms, use of technology and encouragement, support for artisan farmers.
âWe believe that the gains from removing fish stocks and head stocks from the list of non-valid items for exchange windows far outweigh the losses, if any.
“For all the reasons stated above and many more, we anticipate the removal of the Federal Government and the CBN of the fish stocks and heads of fish stocks from the list of invalid items for the exchange counter of the Central Bank of Nigeria, âWike said.
In his remarks, the Royal Ambassador of the Norwegian Embassy, ââKnut Lein, who described the history of fish stocks in Nigeria and Norway as fascinating, said that it creates a bond between the two countries, and has expressed the desire to foster increased cooperation, build on bilateral relations and inform the Norwegian government of opportunities in the country.
He said “together we could create many jobs”, insisting that “doing what we can to promote trade in fish stocks is a win-win situation for all of us”.
Highlights of the occasion were the presentation of articles by Africa Director, Norwegian Seafood Council, Mr. Trond Kostveit and other stakeholders.
The Norwegian Ambassador, Mr. Knut Lein, had previously paid a courtesy visit to Governor Nyesom Wike, at the seat of government in Port Harcourt, where the chief executive of the state expressed the desire of the government to l State to continue to partner with the Norwegian Embassy to facilitate economic growth. and the development of the two countries, and of the State in particular.