Gov. Fubara Promises To Eliminate Double Taxation, Imposition of Multiple Levies

To provide investment opportunities while improving ease of doing business in Rivers State, Governor Fubara said that his government is working on the harmonization of State and Local Government taxes to eliminate double taxation and the imposition of multiple levies on investors.

He said it during the Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit organized to celebrate his one year in office at Obi Wali International Conference Centre ,Port-Harcourt.

He stated that his administration has already implemented certain policy initiatives and reforms, including the prompt allocation and issuance of land titles and certificates of occupancy to prospective investors and a moratorium on State taxes and levies on new businesses.

He further emphasised that his government is building a resilient, robust, and diversified economy which holds the key to sustainable peace, security and progress as well as the spiritual, social, and physical well-being of the people.

The Executive Governor of Rivers State noted that he is committed to re-industrialisation of the State in partnership with the informal and organised private sectors through necessary policy, legal, and other support measures, and systems.

Gov. Fubara regretted that the state has since lost her rating as one of the industrialised and most competitive as a preferred destination for domestic and foreign direct investments which resulted in the continuous posting of low economic growth, high unemployment rate, and slow development.

“For decades, the Rivers State Government had continued to depend more on allocations from the federation account to fund its expenditures because tax revenues had remained low due to low investments and economic growth.”

He said this necessitated his approval of the Rivers State Economic and Investment Summit 2024 as the first of several measures to unveil the economic potential of the State to both local and foreign investors and markets.

 The governor who noted that Rivers State is blessed with enormous human and natural resources, including fertile soil, solid minerals, and an extensive coastline with great water bodies, added that the state is the centre-point of oil and gas industry in West Africa accounting for over 40% of crude oil production onshore in the country and 100% of liquefied gas that the country exports.

He therefore called on investors to take advantage of the vast opportunities across the diverse sectors of the economy, which includes the oil and gas, agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, education, ICT, and healthcare, infrastructure development, glass products, and garments production, as well as power generation and transmission.

“With over 40% of fertile cultivable landmass, Rivers State has the potential to make a significant contribution to national food security with commercial investments in mechanised agriculture and the agro-processing industrial value chains”, Gov. Fubara pointed out.

Sir Fubara listed several of the state-owned but moribund companies, farmlands, and business infrastructure, which includes oil palm estates, rubber plantations, poultry, and fish farms that are available for interested private investors to take over and revitalize, stressing that the State presents lucrative opportunities for the commercial production of highly valued cash crops for the export market.”

The governor explained that his government recently launched a N4 billion naira matching fund loan scheme with the Bank of Industry for small, micro, and medium-scale businesses to drive financial inclusion and enhance their growth and development.

He stated that in the first year of his administration, he received an appreciable number of expressions of interest from local and foreign investors in diverse sectors of the economy, which led to signing a development agreement with TAF Nigeria Limited for the construction of 20,000 mixed houses in the Greater Port Harcourt City and another development agreement with Gosh Nigeria Limited for the construction of an international spare parts market with the State providing hundreds of hecters of land as its equity.

“In addition, Apache Aluminium LLC of America has started the acquisition of land to establish a multi-billion-naira aluminium rolling mill (plant) in the Ogoni axis of Rivers.

We have opened discussions with Imagine Adama Agricultural and Technology of Israel to support the State in developing our huge agricultural potential, including reviving abandoned agricultural projects and infrastructures such as the Rivers Songhai Farm, the School-to-land farms, fish farms, feed mills, oil palm estates and poultry farms across the State. We have earmarked about 10 million USD for this project this fiscal year”, he stated.

Sir Fubara pointed out that the State Executive Council recently approved the proposal by Rainbow Heritage Group to build the New Port City in the State on about 1000 hectares of land in collaboration with the Greater Port Harcourt City Authority.”

Earlier, the chairman of the summit and former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke lauded the vision of Governor Siminalayi Fubara in putting together the economic summit to create a pathway for economic growth and prosperity for the state, describing it as the real policy action to restore the state to her true position as the treasure base of the nation.

He said Rivers State has greater potential as it is blessed with diverse natural resources to attract investors from across the globe and diversify her economy.

In his keynote address, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu harped on the relevance of the summit in advancing the economic opportunities of Rivers State and commended the initiators as it provides the platform for investors to take advantage of.

On his part, the Chairman of the local organizing committee, Dr Chbeoso Aholu said the summit is designed to explore dynamic trends, foster insightful dialogues, and build strategic partnerships that will propel the state into a prosperous future.  The Chairman of Rivers State Internal Revenue Service, said the theme of the summit, “Rivers Emerge: Advancing Pathways to Economic Growth and Sustainability” reflects the collective aspiration to harness innovative strategies and sustainable practices for a thriving economic future.

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