In order to revive the already existing trade relations between the Rivers state government and the United States of America, the Rivers state governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on Monday called for the review of the US travel advisory to the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Mr Amaechi was speaking when the deputy commander of civil-military activities of the United States, Africa command (AFRICOM), Sir Anthony Holmes led a delegation on a courtesy visit to him at government house, Port Harcourt.
The governor said the review of the United States’ travel advisory on the Niger Delta would open up huge opportunities of investment and trade for both the rivers state government and the United States of America, at the sub-national level.
Currently, the United States of America and the United Kingdom have travel advisories on the Niger Delta that do not favour the oil-rich region.
Mr Amaechi said that the Niger Delta region have had tremendous improvement in security to warrant the American and UK government to change their position on their travel advisory.
“The American and British travel advisories are currently unfavourable to the Niger Delta, foreign construction firms from Israel, Lebanon, Italy amongst other countries had completed and currently carrying out capital-intensive infrastructural and power projects in Rivers state, without any molestation or security threat to their lives,” he said.
He further said that an American company was bidding to partner with the state government to build a 1000-bed hospital and that during their several visits to the state; the company’s staff did not face any security threat.
The governor therefore urged the United States’ government to reconsider its stance on the nicer Delta so that their citizens can freely come to the region.
Stating the reason for the visit, Mr Holmes said they were in Rivers state as part of the American government efforts to engage with and assist the military in Africa, and to promote and create security for the benefit of all Nigerians, including people in Rivers state and those of other African nations.
He said the significance that Nigeria has on the continent of Africa in terms bilateral relationship and the key role that Rivers state plays in Nigeria in terms of population, resources, and its strategic location has brought them to learn, listen, and to understand the various challenges they face particularly in the area of maritime security
A forth night ago, the United States ambassador to Nigeria, Terrence McCulley was in the state to meet with Mr Amaechi.