Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the government is working to make agriculture a major revenue earner for the state, in view of the dwindling revenue from oil.
Speaking, yesterday, during a courtesy visit by the Kingdom of the Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Van Dijk, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said the state government will partner Netherlands to build its agricultural base.
He said: “We are going into agriculture in order to diversify the economy of the state. We want to partner investors from your country to develop agriculture and create employment opportunities for our people.
“With the price of oil crashing, it is necessary to get alternative sources of income. We know Netherlands is good in aquaculture and we will collaborate in that area.”
The governor said his administration has improved security to ensure investors operate freely without hindrance.
“We have developed a system to tackle criminality. We have drastically reduced the level of insecurity in the state and that has improved the business climate.
“We have developed roads and we are developing other basic infrastructure to create access across the state,” he said.
The governor added that the state government has established a medical and teaching hospital to groom the next generation of doctors and medical professionals.
He commended the Netherlands government for working with relevant stakeholders to clean up impacted sites in Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area.
He said some improvements have been made, but it is not enough as the Ogoni communities need total remediation to carry on with their lives.
Earlier, Dijk said: “We are here to inspect the clean up sites in Bodo. We witnessed the replanting of the mangrove with the support of Shell Petroleum Development Company.”
The ambassador said 800 people from Bodo community got certificates for the training they received and work they have been doing to reclaim sites.
He said the Netherlands government is willing to discuss areas of partnership with the Rivers government for the development of the state.