Wike slams Ben Bruce for using Rivers gov’t asset to take bank loan

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Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike says he is delighted that measures taken by his administration to make the State an investment destination have continued to yield results.

One of such recent evidence is the formal opening of the HyperCity Supermarket that is located at the Eastern Bye-pass Junction, Ogbu-nu-abali community in Port Harcourt Local Government Area.

Governor Wike who was on hand to formally inaugurates the supermarket on Wednesday and opened it for daily business also accused Senator Ben Bruce of using assets belonging to Rivers State government to take bank loan.

The governor said the land on which the supermarket is sited used to be a mangrove forest from where criminals terrorise the adjoining Ogbu-nu-abali community and motorists.

With his administration sand-filling the area, governor Wike noted how attractive it became to the owner of HyperCity Supermarket who has today established his venture there.

Concerning growing the business stakes of the state, Governor Wike said his administration is more interested in anything that will attract investment and create jobs for Rivers people.

“But government took it upon itself to make sure that criminals don’t continue to thrive here. We owe the economy of the State to grow. We owe to provide security for businessmen and women, and security of communities.

“You have seen how beautiful it looks, it cost us money to sand-filled this area. Just like people are approaching us now at the other site that they want to establish this and that. We feel happy and encouraged

“The duty of government is to provide enabling environment. I want investors to come to the State. When investors come to the state, our people will be employed. When our people are employed, government will collect taxes and use those taxes and do other things for the State.”

Governor Wike commended the management of HyperCity Supermarket for keeping to the agreed business timeline concerning the use of the land they secured from government.

The governor said since his administration was ending soon, any investors that has secured land for use for business must begin to actualise that purpose or lose the land.

“Just like we said that anybody that wants land from Rivers State government, you’ll tell us the duration.

“Because in previous administration, people come and tell government they want to do this, they want to do that. And then, government will give them the land, and then you’ll find out that in five or six years, nothing has happened.

“Before you know it, they take government land and sell and make more money or use the government land as collateral for loan.

Governor Wike recalled how the land on which Silverbird Cinema is located along the Abonnema Whaff Road was also secured by an investor from the State government but instead of concentrating on the business purposes, used it to borrow money.

Today, the governor expressed the regret that State government is struggling to regain the land from Amcon that seized it from Silverbird for defaulting in repaying the loan it took from the bank.

“Today, you know where you have Silverbird Cinema, that is government landed property. You know that was where Obi Wali cultural centre used to be. But somebody came and told government they’re going to build something underground and this and that, and government gave the land.

“You know what the person did? He took our land and went and took loan from the bank without building what is supposed to be there. AMCON now came to seize the property that the person did not pay the loan. And today, we are struggling to take it back.”

Governor Wike enjoined the management to provide employment to members of the host community and Rivers youths.

He also insisted that such indigenous staff must be offered requisite training that will enable them grow to become management staff of the company.

In his speech, managing director of HyperCity Supermarket, Mr. Sunny Chuwla said HyperCITY is a modern retail store based on Hypermarket store format l.

He stated that they offer unparallel choice of local and international products cutting across the entire spectrum of consumable needs of a family under One Roof.

“HyperCITY story started a year ago. When we were given the opportunity to invest here, it came with a condition that we need to open the store before Dec. 2022, or the land will be revoked without excuses

“Today, we are glad that we have opened the 1st Store much before the deadline. Our second store is also lined up for opening very soon.

“We all know that retail is one of the largest employment sectors in the world and as at today, HyperCITY has generated over 200 direct and indirect jobs to the Rivers people in this single store.”