By Onozure Dania
Rivers State governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, has said that his administration will always defend the economy of Rivers State and the South-South geo-political zone, adding that the state government will join forces with other governors of the zone to stop the amendment of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG, Bill.
The governor also stated that agitations in the South-South have remained rife, because the authorities ignore the geo-political zone, even though the people produce the wealth that sustains the nation.
Speaking on Tuesday night at Government House, Port Harcourt, during a courtesy visit by the management of the NLNG Limited, Governor Wike said that the state government will mobilise the state’s representatives at the National Assembly to ensure that the NLNG Limited remains in good stead to continue with her operations.
He urged the Federal Government not to allow the amendment of the NLNG Act to sail through at the National Assembly because of the negative multiplier effect it would have on the economy.
He said: “Anything that will affect the economy of Rivers State, we will always fight it. It is about Rivers State.”
The governor commended the management of the NLNG for offering to partner the Federal Government to construct the all-important Bodo -Bonny Bridge.
“I thank you for the Bodo-Bonny bridge. I hope it is not political. I have always advocated this important bridge. I thank the NLNG for telling the Federal Government that they are willing to put down money for the construction of the bridge,” the governor said.
He pointed out that the people of the South-South geo-political zone always agitate for better investment of their resources in their respective communities because of the neglect they continue to suffer.
He said: “A big company like NLNG Limited generates funds for the country, yet the Bodo-Bonny bridge that will create access to Bonny has not been constructed. “
The governor regretted that the focus of the Federal Government was on the major ethnic groups, saying that because the Hausa and Igbo are involved in conflict, a national meeting has been called.
“When it is South-South, Nigeria never calls a meeting. But because Arewa has given a quit notice to Igbo and Igbo have replied, we are to sit down and talk. But when the problem was here, nobody said sit down and let’s talk about these people’s problems. Those who are causing this crisis are those who refuse to listen to the yearnings and cries of the people,” Governor Wike said.
He charged the management of the NLNG Limited to bring the construction of the Ship Building Dockyard to the state for the improvement of the economy of Rivers State.
Earlier, Managing Director of NLNG Limited, Mr Tony Attah, appealed to Rivers State Government to work with other stakeholders to ensure that the NLNG Limited bill was not amended as it will negatively affect the operation of the company at the international level.
He said that the NLNG Limited is operating six trains which generates more than 20 million tonnes which makes it the fourth in the global ranking of LNGs .
He added that the NLNG Limited is building trains 7 and 8, which will take the capacity of the NLNG to 30million tonnes and make it third in the world.