• Friday, June 14, 2024
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Bonny’s return to global trade: Chamber targets $15bn investments through BITE scheme

Bonny’s return to global trade: Chamber targets $15bn investments through BITE scheme

As Bonny Kingdom relaunches its return to global trade, the island’s chamber says it targets over $15billion investment with 70 percent business conversion and 10,000 tourists.

This is to be achieved through a new scheme known as Bonny Investment and Tourism Export (BITE) 2023.

According to Constance Nwokejiobi, first female president of the Bonny Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (now renamed BonnyChamber), the $15billion would accrue from anticipated impacts of the first BITE of Bonny.

Constance Nwokejiobi addressing the investors

She said at a press briefing that the monumental impact would come from unlocking over $15 billion in investments to achieving a 70 percent indigenous business conversion, attracting over 10,000 tourists, and creating numerous direct and indirect jobs.

The key incentives, she stated, such as uninterrupted power supply, a world-class security network, and strategic infrastructure projects, would position Bonny Island as a compelling destination for development. The first BITE was unveiled before the Bonny monarch, government leaders, and business magnets at the Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt.

The former director-general, who is now the chamber’s president, said beyond the events outlined for the day, there were additional initiatives to ensure the success of the first BITE of Bonny. “We will kick off with a roadshow, engaging in door-to-door visits to SMEs and key stakeholders to share our vision and invite them to be part of the objectives of the first BITE of Bonny.

“In February 2024, there will be a webinar on the 1st BITE of Bonny, followed by a strategic stakeholders session in Abuja, bringing together key stakeholders from the Senate, House of Representatives, connected ministries, and embassies. The main event is set to take place in Bonny Island from March 4-8, 2024. Once again, I extend my deepest appreciation to all our stakeholders and participants. Together, let us make the 1st BITE of Bonny a resounding success and a milestone in the development of Bonny Island and Nigeria.”

The president cleared two key issues when doing business in Bonny and when creating an all-embracing business in the area; security and buy-in of the monarch/chiefs.

Nwokejiobi said the dream was more from the king of Bonny, Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple III, who is the Perekule XI and Amanyanabo of Bonny.

She mentioned the buy-in of national and multinational corporations including the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, Bonny Local Government, NLNG, SPDC, Hotel Presidential, Elshcon Nigeria Ltd, International Chamber of Commerce, NACCIMA, NIPC, NEPC, Zenith Bank, NEXIM Bank, Sealink Promotional Company, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Rivers State Microfinance Bank, and members of the Rivers State Committee on Export Promotion.

There also those regarded in Bonny as ‘Titled Citizens’, Bonny Indigenous Contractors, Bonny Women’s Forum, BECC, BonnyChamber Youth Entrepreneurs, BonnyChamber Council and members, among others, who were said to cause excitement to the brains behind BITE of Bonny concept.

Today, we are privileged to be in the presence of eminent personalities and key stakeholders who play pivotal roles in the development and progress of Bonny Island. To His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, your commitment to the prosperity of our region is truly commendable. His Majesty, the King of Bonny, and the esteemed Bonny Chiefs Council, your guidance continues to shape the destiny of our cherished Bonny. I extend heartfelt gratitude to our key partners, including the Rivers State Tourism Development Agency, Bonny Local Government Chairman, NLNG, SPDC, Hotel Presidential, Elshcon Nigeria Ltd, International Chamber of Commerce, NACCIMA, NIPC, NEPC, Zenith Bank, NEXIM Bank, Sealink Promotional Company, representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Rivers State Micro finance bank and members of the Rivers State Committee on Export Promotion. Your collaboration underscores the collective effort needed for the success of the 1st BITE of Bonny.

She commended the immediate past president of the Chamber, Amairigha Edward Hart, for laying the solid foundation upon which she now stands to implement the ambitious goals of the 1st BITE of Bonny.

Gracing the event with his rare presence and speech, the king of Bonny commended the state governor for laying the foundation that the private sector is now leveraging to do great exploits such the First Bite of Bonny.

He said: “Let’s not forget the tranquility, synonymous with peace and safety, that defines Bonny—a canvas for cultural exploration and economic endeavors. As we embark on the 1st BITE of Bonny, consider not only the economic prospects but also the cultural treasures awaiting discovery.

“To our existing investors, your confidence is honored. Bonny, with its cultural richness, is not just an economic opportunity but a captivating tourism destination.”

The said the expo is our proclamation to the world—Bonny, with its history and culture, is ready to take its place on the global stage. From agriculture to renewable energy, Bonny beckons exploration, he added.

“In closing, to our investors, your belief is our torchbearer. May the 1st BITE of Bonny be a resounding call for prosperity, unity, and the resurgence of our beloved island.”