Mount pressure on FG to rescue our ports – Wike


By Gladys Nweke

The governor of Rivers State, Chief/Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, recently used the opportunity of the commissioning of a low voltage panels assembly plant, built by Alcon Nigeria Limited in Port Harcourt, to demand for rescue of ports in the state.

The governor also said he his administration would work with the private sector to revive the manufacturing sector in the state.

Gov Wike said his administration was committed to creating the right environment for investors to develop more factories in the state, in order to generate employment opportunities for the youths.

The governor however charged the organised private sector to form a pressure group to prevail on the FG to revive the two seaports in Rivers State, explaining that the functionality of Rivers seaports will take off the pressure on Lagos ports, thereby expanding the nation’s economy.

I want to call on the leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, to work with other stakeholders to form a pressure group to 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.

Gov Wike, represented by the Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, expressed delight that Alcon Nigeria Limited sited the plant in the State, assuring that Rivers State was safe for investors and that the State Government is working to make the state even more conducive for investment.

Similarly, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr Simbi Wabote, said that with the successful establishment of Low Voltage Panels Assembly Plant, by Alcon Nigeria Limited, there will be no further need to import such products into the country.

Earlier, Managing Director of Alcon Nigeria Limited, Gerardo Della Santa, said the successful completion and operation of the factory is a landmark development.

Santa disclosed that the factory has received all required national and international certifications to produce Low Voltage Panels, noting that the factory will enhance technology transfer by its operation.

For his part, President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Engr Mansur Ahmed, said that the process of reviving the manufacturing sector in Port Harcourt should continue as the city deserves to be the industrial hub of the country.

Ahmed noted that the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the economy would grow from nine percent to 15 percent, as the manufacturing sector must take advantage of the African Free Continental Trade Agreement, AfCTA.

Our state Government is one of the most private-sector friendly governments in the country. The time has come for the Public and Private Sectors to work together to grow industries. MAN will like to work with the Rivers State Government to grow the sector.

Executive Director, Manufacturing, Alcon Nigeria Ltd, Engr Uba Obasi, said that the Low Voltage Panels Assembly Plant seeks to bridge the current gap of providing value-added quality products to the local market as an authorized channel partner builder with ABB -one of the largest multinational electrical engineering organisation.

Obasi said in addition to ABB certification as authorized panel builders operating IEC 61439 Part 1 and 2 Construction of Low Voltage Assemblies, the company also has ISO 14001:2015 certificates for quality and environmental systems, SON certification for MANCAP and Category A NCEC certificate for electrical switchgear and panel building from NCDMB.

He commended the Bank of Industry for their support, which according to him, led to setting up the factory, adding that the facility came to fruition within two years.

The Commissioning ceremony was graced with major clients of Alcon Nigeria Limited which include, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Addax, Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, Greenville LNG, amongst others.