Second biggest economy in Africa indicates interest to invest in Delta state

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

About four companies from South Africa have visited Delta state on an investment tour of possible business opportunities that would further enhance the trade ties with the state.

The South African Ambassador to Nigeria, Lulu Loius Nguini, who spoke on behalf of the representatives of the various companies in an interview with journalists shortly after the end of the tour at the premises of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Warri, said they were in the state to source for natural gas.

“We really feel quite pleased with this because it will not only strengthen our trade ties with the state but it also will impact on our political ties as both states are mutually re-enforcing. I hope that it will be a win for Delta state and a win for South Africa,” Nguini said.

The Ambassador pointed out that the state has great potentials which his country would take advantage of “and I hope also that this will assist in the development of the state and it will create jobs in Nigeria and in Delta state particularly even as he revealed that his country and Delta would signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would pave the way and to further concretize the business between our self and Delta State.

According to the High Commissioner, his country was eager to hit the ground running saying: “we will do a number of other things, we will move on, we cannot wait and we want to hit the ground running.”

Also speaking, the Director-General (DG), Delta State Investment Development Agency, Chief Lucky disclosed that the coming of the South African companies to the state portents great prospect for the state.

“Some of the biggest companies from South Africa have come all the way to Delta state to look at these facilities and investments that they are interested in. I think this is an opportunity we cannot miss,” even as he promised that the state would do all within its powers to cooperate with them.

The DG also noted that the state would create the enabling environment and support which would bring to fruition the investment interestsaying “as a state, we are prepared to support them all the way.”

He revealed that the agency has an active policy that is capable of rejuvenating ailing industries in the state.

The chairman of the agency, Mr Afam Obiago, hinted that the state has investment opportunities in all segments adding: “but don’t forget that we are diversifying away from oil. We do know that we have comparative advantage in oil and gas but it is also delightful to know that we have a conscious policy to move away from reliance on gas and oil. So, we are looking at agriculture; in fact it encompasses all areas”.

The Executive Assistant to the governor on Investment and Promotion, Paul Nma, who said he has been with them quite a while, noted that there was no cause for alarm about their performance.

While aligning with the South African Ambassador on the signing of the MoU, he said the companies have potentials to offer to the state.

Earlier, the investors visited the Koko Port where the chairman of the community, Engr. David Oniyebunrtan, told them that Koko is a peaceful community where investors could come to invest.

“When we see investors like you, the community is very happy and if you can start today, we will be very happy”, Oniyebuntan said.

The trail also moved to Oghareki-Oghara, where they were conducted round the Rainoil facilities including the jetty and later went to the African Timber and Plywood (AT&P), Sapele, where the Senior Operations Manager, Mr Edward Ovuasa also took them round the facilities.

The team also visited Seplat Petroleum Development Company Limited, Seplat Base Office, Sapele, where Mr Rufus Egbefune, the Production Manager in company of Jeff Chinda, the Base Human Resource /Administrative Head briefed them on their activities.

They also visited the Warri Boat Yard, a group of six companies where the General Manager, Toyinma Alex, gave highlights of their activities before leaving for the Nigerian Part Authority (NPA), Warri.

The South African Companies include: NLG, Transnet, a South African State owned entity specializes in Port, Bridges and rail development and Pipeline, IDC, a financing company.

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