Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday offered an insight into why he rarely visits Abuja.
During the launch of “The Big Interviews: How to get the news subjects and angles that make the headlines” written by Managing Director of The Sun Newspaper, Mr. Eric Osagie, Wike stated: “I have refused to visit Abuja as other politicians in the country do because those who voted for me as governor are not in Abuja.”
On the current political climate in the country, the governor urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the political leadership to practice what they preach.
Wike, however, described the author as “a principled and reliable man who stands for whatever he believes in.”
To the immediate past National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun, Osagie is “someone whose legacies in the field of journalism would never be forgotten.”
His successor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole lauded the author for the “wonderful achievement and the efforts he put in documenting his experience.”
He urged Nigerian journalists to be fearless, and courageous like their international counterparts by asking public office holders relevant questions that affect the lives of the people.
In his remarks, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, said the book came at the “right time when the media was being oppressed by the government in power.”
The Publisher of the Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu lauded the auspiciousness of the literature given the “digital era where contents that give credibility to the field of journalism are needed.”
He said fake news had done more harm to the nation, adding that there was need for a book that would teach journalists how to behave.
Also speaking, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, while extolling Osagie’s virtues, stressed that the media has a strategic role to play in the development of the nation.
Besides, the Executive Chairman of Ocean Marine Solutions (OMS), Capt Idahosa Okunbo, hailed the author for “making a difference in his profession.”
Meanwhile, the Rivers Government is launching a Security Trust Fund next month to strengthen security and attract more investments to the state.
Governor Wike dropped the hint when the president of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Iya Aliyu, visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said the major companies operating in the state must contribute to the security fund “because they benefit from the resources and infrastructure of Rivers State.”
“By January 2020, we will hold a security summit and also launch a security trust fund. All the major companies operating in the state are under obligation to contribute.
“We are committed to improving security in order to attract more investments to the state. We are developing the right infrastructure for economic development,” Wike added.
He said his administration would write Dangote Plc to contribute, as it does in other states, pointing out that the company uses the state’s infrastructure for its businesses.
The governor went on: “Dangote has not contributed anything to this state. I will write him to support the security trust fund. I cannot do roads and your trailers will take over our roads. If you go to G.U Ake Road, you will see Dangote trailers all over the state.
“Zenith Bank, Access Bank, and other major companies must contribute to Rivers State Security Trust Fund as they contribute to Lagos State. This is (a) sufficient notice. As they contribute there, they must contribute here. If they don’t support Rivers State, we will not agree.”
He boasted that Rivers was the best place anyone could invest, adding: “ And because of this, the state would continue to improve security and infrastructure.”
According to him, no society could develop without the contributions of the private sector.
“We need the private sector to drive the economy. Look at what is happening in the United States of America. Over 200,000 jobs were created in one month through the private sector,” he noted.
To encourage the private sector, the governor disclosed that his government had harmonised taxes.
And to create a conducive business climate, he said the administration was working with the private sector to resolve the “few challenges associated with taxes in the state.”
He, however, faulted the closure of the nation’s land borders, stating that Nigerians were suffering untold hardship on account of the policy, just as those that had been allocated land in the state were advised to develop them within six months or risk loss of their certificates of occupancy (C of Os).
In her remarks, Hajiya Aliyu declared that the state was safe for investments, recognising the improved infrastructure and security that are aiding businesses.