15 July 2014, Lagos – The Rivers State Government has announced plans to invest in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, and also to boost gas supply in the state and across the country.
The State Government, according to a statement by Mrs. Ibim Sementari, Commissioner for Information, is also targeting a three per cent growth in its Gross Domestic Product, GDP, from the Greater Port Harcourt City project.
She said the Rivers State Government is projecting 750 megawatts power supply in the next couple of months, adding that to achieve this, the state has built two brand new power stations in Afam, while also completing and expanding the 150MW watts Omoku power station.
Continuing, she stated that the State Government has also completed the 130MW Trans-Amadi, and 75MW Eleme power stations.
This, according to her, is in addition to seven transmission stations (132/33 Kilo Volts), and distribution injection sub-stations 33/11Kv built by the state government.
“The Amaechi government is building a domestic gas plant to redistribute gas to domestic users, while also pursuing other ventures in both the upstream and down-stream sectors of the oil and gas industry,” Semenitari added.
“The Mega City, also known as the Greater Port Harcourt City, is perhaps one the biggest most single construction projects east of the Niger. This was planned to gulp up to N100 billion worth of work per year in the first eight years, though funding has slowed down due to drastic fall in federal allocation to the state.
“Experts estimate that this project alone is capable of growing the state’s economy by three per cent (GDP) through massive infrastructural projects such as the new stadium, new major roads, bulk infrastructure, sewage system, water, power, 11,000 houses, among others. Plots are now being allocated in the megacity and people are vying for slots,” she added.
Also, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. George Feyii, disclosed that Rivers State has set aside a N5 billion microfinance fund, aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and youth empowerment in the state in the shortest possible time.
According to him, the state is also setting up an equity finance fund and venture capital fund to help encourage budding entrepreneur, training them to imbibe sound business skills while also guiding them on their business startups.
He noted that there is an urgent need to train young people on financial management skills, while the venture capital institution will help instill discipline in young people on how to manage their businesses.
He said, “What the government is doing is to make capital available to people who otherwise have no access to capital, and who has great ideas. What that fund does is that the government make their contribution, while professionals fund managers, who have their own fund, match government contribution with their own contribution.
“When proposal for providing capital comes to the fund managers, they evaluate them in a discreet manner and invest on those companies that are starting up.”