“What has happened today (yesterday), showcases the fact that Rivers State is safe and secure for people to invest…”
Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has urged Nigerians, particularly Rivers indigenes, to market the state, which he described as safe and secure for investments.
Wike said this yesterday, during the commissioning of the new terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “What has happened today (yesterday), showcases the fact that Rivers State is safe and secure for people to invest. If Rivers State is not safe, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) would not have completed this project.”
The governor said the people of the state and the Niger Delta were happy with the completion of the Port Harcourt International Airport Terminal. He urged President Buhari to complete the domestic terminal of the airport in line with his pledge.
“What you are doing today will boost Rivers economy and create investment opportunities,” he said.
President Buhari, while commissioning the new airport, described the aviation industry as a catalyst for economic growth as a result of massive and speedy movement of persons, goods and services in a safe and secure manner. He regretted that since the opening of the major airport terminals in the country in the late 70s and early 80s, not much was added to increase the passenger-handling-capacity of the facilities by successive administrations.
He said: “I am very pleased to, formally, commission the new terminal of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, today. This ceremony represents a significant landmark for international air travellers, particularly, from the South South region, and the entire country.
“Following the increase in national population, with consequent surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals became woefully inadequate to cater for the increase in passenger traffic.
“Although palliative measures were periodically carried out, the facilities were fast giving in to the effects of wear and tear. It, therefore, became necessary to take decisive action to ensure our terminals meet minimum international standards.
“The Federal Government responded to a global trend, in which aviation became a catalyst for economic growth.”
However, there was heavy security at the entrance of the international wing of the Port Harcourt airport, during the commissioning of the new terminal, yesterday.
At the time of filing this report, efforts were made by journalists to gain access to the venue, but they were barred by armed security personnel at the entrance.
Similarly, some officials of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) at the entrance, bluntly told some correspondents that they could not enter the venue, if they were not earlier accredited by FAAN.
Rivers State correspondent for Leadership Newspapers, Anayo Onukwugha, was brutalised by a soldier identified from the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, when he tried to introduce himself for access.
The incident occurred at about 9:30 a.m. after which the overzealous soldiers ordered other journalists to leave the place.