Tonye Cole, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State said if elected governor, he will work to generate an additional $10 to $20 million per month for the state’s oil and gas sector.

While making the promises during an interview with Channels Television on Sunday night, Cole said: 

  • “We have had many companies come into Rivers state to develop the oil and gas sector. However, in the last couple of years, industrial locations like Trans Amadi have been decimated and a lot of oil and gas businesses have left the state and relocated. One of the first things that we want to do is encourage businesses that have fled Rivers state to come back.  
  • “We will be bringing in companies that will generate an additional $10 to $20 million per month to the state. In terms of jobs, unemployment in Rivers state is one of the highest, we have about 4 million people out of jobs completely. The oil and gas sector can only employ a certain percentage of people, so we need to create jobs in other sectors like Technology, Health, Education, and Telecommunications. We need to bring at least a 40% unemployment rate down by bringing jobs into these sectors.”

Recovering oil losses: According to Cole, Rivers State has lost too much in the oil and gas sector and it is time to recover those losses. During the Channels Television interview which spotlighted Cole as a major candidate vying for the office of the governor of Rivers state, Cole said he understands the oil and gas sector and knew how to attract investments into the state.  

Plans for the agricultural sector: Also during his interview, Cole said there is currently no project that is directed at agriculture, and fishery. He claimed that every single thing done to harness agriculture in Rivers state has not been done at a level that can move Riverians (state indigenes) out of the poverty cycle. 

According to him, the agricultural baskets in the state that are prone to flooding have not been worked on as well, which hinders agricultural growth in the state. But he promised that he has plans that can address the challenges.

What you should know: Rivers state is one of Nigeria’s major oil and gas-producing states and is hotly contested among major political parties including Tonye Cole’s party, the APC, People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP).