From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, will, today, address a global audience on how he has surmounts economic downturn and political hostilities in the country.
Wike’s address will take place at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), in London, where he would speak on Defining development for Rivers State and steps to sustainable implementation.”
During the engagement, the governor is expected to field questions on issues of development as they relate to Rivers, from a cross section of participants including policy makers, international journalists, businessmen and development experts.
The Royal Institute of International Affairs had formally invited the governor to share his thoughts on development issues, through an August 19, 2017 letter, by its Research Director, Dr. Alex Vines.
According to Chatham House, “we would be delighted to host you for an hour-long public event during which you would be invited to deliver an address for up to 20 minutes, followed by questions and discussion for the remaining time. Chatham House audiences are made up of policy makers and decision makers, business representatives, media, academics and other experts.”
Wike will also outline the areas of expected collaboration between the international community and political stakeholders in Nigeria, for the strengthening of the country’s democracy.
Also, he will interface with participants on key areas that would help to foster growth in other developing countries, especially states and provinces that are in opposition.
Wike’s opposition perspective to Chatham House is expected to deepen global understanding of the development and political challenges facing Nigeria at the moment.
Eminent African personalities that have spoken at Chatham House include late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President Muhammadu Buhari, late Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.
Others were President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Presidents John Mahama and John Kufour of Ghana.
Last Friday, Wike visited Financial Times of London, where he entered a partnership with the newspaper on investment opportunities in Rivers state.
Commercial Director and the Sales Manager for Africa and the Middle East, Mark Carwardine, Larry Kenny, assured Wike that Financial Times will highlight investment opportunities in his state.
Also, last Friday, Wike was hosted by the Westminster Africa Business Group; an assembly of select British parliamentarians and the British business community.
A parliamentarian, Mr. Tim Johnsen, commended the governor for his development strides, and pledged the support of the group.
Meanwhile, the state government has declared that re-construction of selected basic education schools in Bonny Local Government Area of the State, would be completed in three weeks.
This commitment was given at the weekend, after Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Fyneface Akah-led board members to inspect progress of work at selected schools on Bonny Island, on behalf of governor Wike.
The schools are part of the 175 basic schools being reconstructed by Wike’s administration, as a means of strengthening education.
The governor released N5.6 billion to the board, for repositioning of basic education schools.
Akah expressed satisfaction with the quality of work and assured that the projects would be financed diligently until they are delivered in line with the directive of the governor.
The board chairman also noted that the infrastructural improvement of basic education schools would be sustained by Wike administration.
He said: “Governor Wike gave us the resources to reach all the 23 Local Government Areas of the State. All our contractors are doing well at their various sites. Schools are being delivered in the riverine and upland communities .
“I thank God for the wisdom of the governor in taking basic education to the rural communities. This has extended infrastructure and government presence to all communities.”
Stakeholders in Bonny Local Government Area lauded the governor for his commitment to the rapid development of the state.