Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday commissioned the new Alcon Nigeria Limited Low Voltage Panels Assembly Plant in Port Harcourt, declaring that his administration would continue to work with the private sector to revive the manufacturing sector.
Governor Wike, who was represented by his deputy, Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, said his administration would create the right environment for investors to develop more factories in the state.
He said: “The Rivers State government will cooperate with the private sector to revive our manufacturing sector. Our commitment is to revive the Trans Amadi Industry Layout.
“The ultimate goal is to generate employment opportunities for our youths. As we continue to encourage private investors to come to the state, we urge them to look towards our youths for skilled labour, as most of them are qualified.”
Governor Wike urged the organised private sector to form a pressure group to prevail on the Federal Government to revive the two ports in Rivers State. He said once the two ports become functional, they would take off the unnecessary pressure on Lagos ports, thereby expanding the national economy.
“I want to call on the leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to work with other stakeholders and prevail on the Federal Government to make our seaports functional in Rivers State. That way, the revival of our manufacturing sector will be made easier,” he said.
Wike expressed delight that Alcon Nigeria Limited sited its plant in Rivers State, even as he noted that the state is safe for investors. He added that the state government was working hard to make the state even more conducive for investors.
Chairman of the company, Olatunde Ayeni, said the plant had been established to help grow the nation’s economy. He noted that the state has a hospitable investment climate, saying he enjoyed the working environment in the state.
Ayeni thanked the Bank of Industry for the support that led to the establishment of the factory. He said the facility came to fruition within two years.
Managing Director of the firm, Gerardo Santa, said the successful completion and operation of the factory was a landmark development.