Govt sets up task force to investigate prevalence of sooth
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Federal Government of using its agencies to blackmail his administration in a bid to drive away investors and cripple the state economy.
Wike expressed this view when the Norwegian ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Peter Kjemprud, visited him at the Government House, Port Harcourt yesterday.
The governor, whose administration was accused by the police panel of bribing Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials, said Federal agencies have been involved in desperate political blackmail against the state for the purpose of slowing down its rapid development.
“Don’t bother about the politicking. As an opposition state, when you are doing well in terms of project execution and good governance, the Federal Government blackmails you to drive away investors. We are focused on our goal of developing our state. Therefore, we shall continue to partner with foreign and national investors to develop the Rivers economy “ he said.
Wike requested that the Norwegian government should partner with the state in setting up a ship building company. He promised a tax relief for any company interested in the shipping building venture.
He also called on Norway to set up a visa centre in Port Harcourt to cater for the South-South and South-East.
Jens-Peter Kjemprud said that Norway was prepared to collaborate with the state in the areas of energy, ship building, human capital development and technology transfer in her relationship with Rivers State.
In another development, Residents have raised serious alarm over black carbon emission in their homes and offices. At least two persons are currently admitted in undisclosed hospitals in Port Harcourt, following the prevalence of black sooth emission being witnessed across the state since October last year without help from any one.
The state government says it has set up a Task Force to investigate and resolve the environmental challenge.
It was gathered that the setting of the task force was part of the resolutions of the State Executive Council meeting of Wednesday chaired by Governor Nyesom Wike.
Members of the task force include; the Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roseline Konya, Commissioner of Special Duties, Mr. Emeka Onowu and the Commissioner of Information, Dr Austin Tam-George.