PHCCIMA, R/S Urban Dev. Ministry In Synergy To Achieve The Port Harcourt Renewal Project

By Anderson Hart

Rivers state Commissioner for Urban Development and Physical Planning, Hon. Chinyere Igwe said his ministry will collaborate with Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce in its Port Harcourt renewal project aimed at restoring Port Harcourt back to its lost garden city status.

To this end, Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce has been appointed member of a special task force in the ministry charged with achieving the ministry’s urban development and renewal projects plans for Port Harcourt and other cities in the state.

The Commissioner who gave this indication when a high powered delegation of PHCCIMA members led by its President, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji paid him a courtesy call in his office stressed that the collaboration to add PHCCIMA as strategic partner has become expedient considering that they are the mouthpiece of the organized private sector with gluts of businesses registered under their belt as members. With this partnership, he said PHCCIMA shall help in the area of public enlightenment and re-orientation campaign, advocacy etc.

Hon. Igwe noted that among the lofty objectives of his ministry as mandated by the executive governor of the state, Chief Barr. Nyesom Ezenwo Wike are efforts geared towards putting in place vigorous strategy that will ensure that Port Harcourt and other surrounding cities in the state restore its lost glory through Advocacy, re-orientation, Information and enforcement. “We are committed to controlling and regulating activities in the city.

Every major place cannot be converted to motor park, building without building plan approvals will henceforth not be condoned, trading on walkways, building on drainage, utility lane unauthorized sites and under high tension power lines will strongly be resisted” he said’ adding that achieving healthy and safety of the people and environment are paramount to his ministry no matter who is involved. "This is why we are elated today with this valuable partnership with PHCCIMA who will join member ship of our special team, and we believe they will be instrumental to our campaign and success.

Earlier on in his remark the President of PHCCIMA, Dr. Emi Membere-Otaji noted that the courtesy visit was to propose a public-private partnership with the ministry and seek for ways to assist the ministry through advocacy, enlightenment among others in its objective to restore the garden city to what it was. He congratulated the commissioner on his appointment as commissioner and thanked him for appointing PHCCIMA as member of a special task force in the ministry.

He said the appointment was timely because PHCCIMA is an aggregate of businesses in the city. He gave assurances that PHCCIMA will ensure it reposes the confidence that was bestowed. “We are committed to contributing our quota and working tirelessly in conjunction with the ministry to stop haphazard and uncontrolled trading development in Port Harcourt city and its environs, we are determined to help take away nuisances that has turned impediments to smooth businesses in the city and we believe that Port Harcourt can be attractive for businesses again” he said, adding that Port Harcourt City of late has been muddled and lawless as a result of disorganized system of trading. “PHCCIMA is solidly in support of your ministry’s effort to reverse the trend; we are committed to working together assiduously to restore Port Harcourt back to what it was” he said.

Highlight of the event was presentation of the Commerce Port Harcourt magazine to the honourable commissioner by the PHCCIMA president and receiving of the ministry’s operational guidelines.