Chamber seeks Rwanda’s development model for Ogoniland, Rivers

By Chris Ezeonoh

Delighted with the quantum leap the Republic of Rwanda which was ravaged by civil war few years back has made in economic growth and development over the years, the Ogoni Chamber of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, (OGCCIMA) has recommended Rwanda’s development model to reposition the economic fortunes of Ogonis and Rivers State in general.

At a one-day investors forum in Port Harcourt with the theme, “Building Economic Bridges Across International Frontiers” organized by the Ogoni Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGCCIMA), President of the OGCCIMA, Chief Adoage Norteh stressed that the vast untapped investment potentials in Ogoniland in Rivers State need investors from around the globe to come and explore.

He said that the event was organized, to seek collaborations from both local and international investors as well as unveil several potential investment attractions in Ogoniland mainly in Agriculture.

According to the President, attracting investors to Ogoniland was key to transforming the economic fortunes of the area and Rivers State, as a whole, adding that investments in Rivers State are pivotal in creating an economic hub and reduction of poverty among residents of the State.

Special Guest of Honour at the occasion and High Commissioner of Rwanda to Nigeria, His Excellency, Stanislas Kamanzi noted with pride that Rwanda is a destination of choice for investors, expressing the willingness of the Rwandan Government under the leadership of President Paul Kagame to do business with investors from Rivers State.

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According to the High Commissioner, it takes only six hours to register a business in Rwanda adding that the country has a tax regime that is most favourable to foreign investments, especially, new businesses, in line with its Ease of Doing Business drive.

In his address, the National President of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), John Udeagbala described the event as timely, especially, as it focused on the need to foster economic growth and development at a global level.

Also speaking, President of Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum (REIF), Ibifiri Bob-Manuel said the city of Port Harcourt was not only conceived around investments but is strategically positioned to drive investments in Africa.

Bob-Manuel called for synergy among stakeholders that would improve intra-African investments and also eliminate the cultural challenges that often exist when Africans trade with foreigners.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, John Yowika said that since oil and gas activities have been stalled for a while in Ogoni, it became imperative to look beyond oil and gas in Ogoniland, noting that Rwanda shares similar interests with Ogoni in Agriculture, hence the need to have this event.

The event jointly organized by OGCCIMA and the Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum (REIF) featured a cultural display from the Ogoni ethnic nationality as major highlight.

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