The Rivers State Government on Monday began a significant step towards increasing investment in the state economy with the state governor inaugurating the Rivers State Ease of Doing Business Council (EODBC).
Inaugurating the Council at the Government House Port Harcourt on Monday, Governor Wike said that the council is critical to the economic development of the state charging it to improve the investment environment of the state.
Many high, medium and low profile companies had avoided or left Rivers State mostly due to unfriendly business environment causing the state to lose huge income through internally generated revenue to other states like Lagos and Ogun States.
“It is important that we have this council to improve the investment climate of the state. To create the environment for investors to come to the state”, Wike stated during the inauguration, adding; “The council will draw up programmes and policies to create the platform for the ease of doing business in Rivers State.”
The Governor said that the membership of the Committee is drawn from the public and private sectors, to ensure that all sectors are accommodated in the drive to enhance business opportunities in the state.
He explained that the State Deputy Governor is chairing the Council because of the importance his administration attaches to the ease of doing business.
He said: “I believe that those appointed will live up to the expectations of Rivers people. That the Deputy Governor is the Chairman of this 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 to the state.”
Responding, Deputy Governor and Chairman Ease of Doing Business Council, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo assured the Rivers State Governor that the council would develop policies that would attract investors to the state.
She said: “The Council is saddled with the responsibility to evolve implementable strategies for businesses to thrive in the state. Your Excellency’s policies in the harmonisation of taxes, infrastructural development, social sectors of health, education, security and the issuance of Certificates of Occupancy, are pointers towards advancing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the State .”
She regretted that the enemies of Rivers State have tried to de-market the state through negative propaganda.
The Deputy Governor noted that the council will speedily handle the assignment to make Rivers State, a Champion State in terms of the ease of doing business.
“The Focus will be on deepening the reforms already started across the MDAs to drive productivity, create jobs and restore investor confidence and increase foreign direct investment in the state “, she said.
She informed that the council will engage with public and private stakeholders to ensure that the right policies and programmes are created for the good of Rivers people.
Other members the Council are Commissioner of Finance, Hon Isaac Kamalu, Attorney General of Rivers State, Prof Zaccheus Adangor, Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mrs Ifeyinwa Nwamkpa, House Committee on Commerce and Industry, Hon Ezu Chibudhom, President, Nigeria Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum, Mr Ibifiri Bobmanuel, Chairman Rivers Internal Revenue Service, Chief ThankGod Adaoge Norteh and Branch Controller, Central Bank, R.A Randle as members.