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Wike Commissions Bonny Consulate Building

The Rivers State Government has said that the commissioning of the Bonny Consulate building fittingly keys into the vision of making Bonny an investment and tourism destination.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike made this assertion while presenting his keynote address at the commissioning of the Bonny Consulate building in Bonny, last Saturday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Wike said, “The reconstruction of the Consulate building, a monument that was 197 years old this year, by NLNG and Julius Berger,”emphasises the importance of putting together our collective memory as a people”.
The governor, who expressed gratitude to NLNG for creatively re-enacting the old without losing the taste of the charm, added that the building would continue to remain a historical monument and a remarkable milestone.
“With the other initiatives that have been going on through the NLNG, including the Bonny-Bodo Road, and other corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects going on, we believe that this will further engender the fulfilment of our dream of making Bonny the destination of choice for all investors and bridges to other parts of this nation”, Wike stressed.
The state chief executive said it was important for the people to continue to maintain the peace, which was key in bringing investors and important to maintain the unity, which the Bonny people were known for.
He emphasised that the challenge with gigantic projects in the communities was the issue of maintenance, stressing that it was important for a maintenance system to be put in place that would increase the value of the investments and its sustainability.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of NLNG, Dr. Philip Mshelbila said the NLNG’s relationship with the ancient Grand Bonny Kingdom over the past 22 years, has generated milestones of varying impact on the island.
He noted that the construction and commissioning of the Bonny Consulate building was one of such accomplishments, which would underscore the economic significance of Bonny Kingdom, which precedes the advent of oil and gas activities.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria, Dr. Lars Richter said as far back as the 15th century, Bonny was a major international trading post which has overtime transformed into a central hub and key focal point for natural gas exploration and production in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Hon. Anengi Barasua Claude-Wilcox, who thanked the Bonny monarch and his council of chiefs for the initiative, said development was only possible in the presence of peace, harmony, honesty and transperancy, adding that it was imperative for everybody to embrace peace and be law-abiding.
“I wish you all the best of the opportunities available in this community, and I urge other corporate citizens of Bonny Local Government Area to borrow a leaf from NLNG. There is a lot to be done in pursuit of the Bonny-Dubai Vision and more corporate partnerships are needed to pursue and achieve all that is necessary to build the Bonny of our dreams.
“The proposed Bonny Motor Park at the entrance of the Bonny-Bodo Road, which is of great importance and a necessity for traffic and population control and security measure to the entire local government after the completion of the expectant road.
“Development is only possible in the presence of peace, harmony and open-mindedness. Therefore, it is imperative that we should embrace peace and be law-abiding in all our doings. The last I checked, there is a constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and we are all under obligation to be lawful. We should avoid anything that would threaten the peace and enabling environment necessary for the mutual benefit of our private and corporate citizens.
“To this end, what we as a people can do is to ensure that we continue to conceive development ideas and freely express them, to transform our spoken words to actions that attract gatherings, such as this, and to ensure that there is a peaceful environment to operate and secure the confidence of external investors and investors in our community.
“We should discontinue making inflammatory statements with the intent to disparage, abuse, incite, or escalate the already tense situation in the community. Words spoken on or offline must be civil and brotherly, public statements must be made wisely and considered to be necessary for the peace and progress of the kingdom.
“Today, words are being put into action, dreams actualised; standing before us is an edifice ‘Bonny Consulate’ to be used for business purposes and to promote our heritage and tourism.
“The interest of NLNG on the health and well-being of our people cannot be over emphasised. No wonder the scheduled flag-off for Insecticide Treated Nets Distribution, which is not only appreciated but is also commendable and worthy of emulation.
“I cannot end this speech without thanking our dear Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who is ably represented here by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, for his firm and unshakable commitment to empowering women to take their pride of place in politics. I am chairman of Bonny LGA today as a consequence of the expression of that conviction”, she said.
In his special address, the Amanyanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple said the newly reconstructed Consulate building was capable of turning the Bonny Kingdom into the hub of tourism in Nigeria and Africa in general.
According to the monarch, part of the reason for the restoration of the historic building was to portray the economic significance of Bonny Island during the colonial administration and to elicit the interest of tourists, which can translate to economic benefit for the people.
He disclosed that with the completion and commissioning of the Bonny Consulate, the Bonny-Dubai vision, which was shared, with the leadership of NLNG was fully on course.

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