Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday inaugurated the Port Harcourt Dockyard Liquid Waste Treatment Plant in Rivers.
Performing the inauguration, Osinbajo said that encouraging Public Private Partnership (PPP) and private capital investment, especially in commercially viable public infrastructure remained a major policy thrust of the President Muhammad Buhari administration.
Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman, in a statement, said the vice president stressed that a successful PPP leadership in major aspects of the economy and encouraging private capital investment was more strategic and important.
“Government cannot fund all public infrastructure.
“You are all aware of our Ease of Doing Business agenda, with the goal of making Nigeria one of the easiest and most attractive places to trade and invest in the shortest possible time.
“We are well on our way there.”
The Vice President commended African Circle Pollution Management Limited, the company that built the plant, for being wholly indigenous.
“I am told that the company has invested more than 8 million dollars in this fully automated liquid waste treatment plant; in fact, that all its investment so far here in Nigeria it is somewhere in the area of 37 million dollars.
“The construction of this modern waste treatment plant is in fulfillment of the provisions of the agreement the company signed with the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
“In line with that Built, Operate and Transfer agreement, the African Circle Limited agreed to build this facility in accordance also with the IMO MARPOL 73/78 convention: to provide facilities for liquid and solid waste created on both vessels for the navigation districts of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri, Calabar and Onne.
“The agreement, I am told, is for a period of 20 years, and with the expiration of that period the facilities would be handed over to the NPA.”
Osinbajo said that the Plant complemented the Federal Government’s remediation efforts in Niger Delta.
He said that while the facility was to treat waste generated on vessels, it was also a wonderful complement to the more general work on the environment which the government was currently doing expressly regarding the clean-up of Ogoniland.
He said it was an innovative connective solutions to ending gas flaring as developed by the NNPC.
“We would no longer be a country defined by the size of pollution challenges, but instead by the wholeness of our remediation response and, even more importantly, our preventive action.”
The vice president reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to a sustainable development agenda.
“Barely two years ago, we demonstrated our commitment to supporting environmentally friendly projects by the launching of a first sovereign green bond in Africa and the fourth in the world.
“The proceeds of the bond is to finance environmentally friendly projects in afforestation, renewable energy and the formation of green energy, enabling Nigeria to reduce its CO3 emission by 40 per cent by the year 2030,” he said.
The vice president was received by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; and accompanied by Retired Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar, Chairman of African Circle Pollution Management Limited.
Wike also called on Osinbajo to prevail on the NPA to work with the State Government to create the right environment for the development of the state.
He said his administration would support Africa Circle Pollution Management Limited to create employment opportunities for the people of Rivers.
He lauded the company for cleaning up the environment and Rivers waterway through the facility.
Wike also called for the dredging of the Rivers Port Waterway to increase economic activities at the Port, which would generate more employment.