Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State says the Commissioning of the Bonny Consulate Building fittingly keys into the vision of making Bonny an investment and tourism destination.
Governor Wike stated this while presenting his keynote address at the commissioning of the Bonny Consulate Building in Bonny on Saturday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, the Governor said, “The reconstruction of the Consulate Building, a monument that is 197 years old this year, by NLNG and Julius Berger emphasizes the importance of putting together our collective memory as a people”.
While expressing gratitude to the NLNG for creatively re-enacting the old without losing the taste of the charm, he added that the building would continue to remain a historical monument and a remarkable milestone.
“With the other initiatives that has been going on through the NLNG, including the Bonny Bodo Road, including other cooperate social responsibility 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,” Governor Wike stressed.
He said it was important for the people to continue to maintain the peace, which is key in bringing investors and important to maintain the unity, which the Bonny People were known for.
He emphasized that the challenge with gigantic projects in our communities was the issue of maintenance, stressing that it was important for a maintenance system to be put in place that would increase the investments and increase 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 the commissioning of the Bonny Consulate Building was one of such accomplishments, which would underscore the economic significance of the Bonny Kingdom, which precedes the advent of oil and gas activities.
In his partnership 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 Anengi Barasua Dagogo 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 and open-mindedness, adding that it was imperative for everybody to embrace peace and be law-abiding.
In his special address the Amayanabo of Grand Bonny Kingdom, king Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple 111 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.