Sim Fubara, the newly sworn=in governor of Rivers State took assumed duties today with a promise to follow the footsteps of Nyesom Wike, his predecessor. Talking ample time at different times throughout his inaugural address to appreciate Wike, Fubara also said he would do his best to continue from where Wike stopped.
He said he considered it a great privilege to be “groomed, nurtured and mentored by one of the most outstanding leaders of our country, His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSRS, POS and Life Bencher.
“Thank you, my boss, leader and benefactor, and your lovely wife and former First Lady, Her Excellency Justice Eberechi Nyesom-Wike, DSSRS, for believing in me. God may have willed it, but you were the actualizer of this glorious dawn. You were the battle axe God used to secure resounding victories for all our party’s candidates in the 2023 general elections.
“A billion thanks are insufficient to express my gratitude to my boss and our indomitable leader. My family lack the words to thank you. The Opobo kingdom cannot thank you enough. Only God can reward you in commensurate terms.
“Fellow Rivers people, today, you have given me a great responsibility to preside over our State as your Governor for the next four years. I am genuinely touched by the spotlight and humbled by the honour. And this I will be: the Governor of all Rivers people.”
He said with the votes of Rivers people that made him win the election, the people had spoken in clear terms, that they would be expecting service delivery. He said he would be governor of all.
“You have invested your trust in us, and the question is how we can provide effective good governance to meet your hopes and expectations. Our response is simple and majestic. By today’s mandate, you have asked for continuity in leadership and like a strong relay team, we have accepted the baton to continue the race.
“We will provide that strong, determined, focused, purposeful and responsible leadership. Though enormous, we assure you we are equal to the tasks and responsibilities ahead.
“My Deputy and I were born, bred and educated in this State. We are Christians and believe in the core values of prayer, hard work, service and sacrifice. We worked in the Rivers State Civil Service for decades and have practically served every government since 1999. Our knowledge is extensively enriched by our lifelong interactions, connections and service to the State and our people in public and private capacities.
“We know Rivers State as well as anyone. We know your hopes and expectations. We know our terrain and development challenges. We see our progress and what more to do to take us higher.
“We have been well-groomed, charged and challenged none more so than by our leader Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, whose passion for the progress of Rivers State is beyond measure. Being his offshoot, we will follow in his footsteps to balance change, consolidation and continuity.”
Fubara noted that many Nigerians have had to suffer hardship as a result of the harsh economic realities in the country. But he said “we understand our responsibility to take relevant measures to diversify our economy and insulate it from the headwinds.
“Accordingly, we will prioritize the well-being of the State and citizens with a renewed focus on economic growth, people-centred projects and social services.We will improve the ease of doing business and sustain a congenial fiscal regime to attract local and foreign direct investments to stimulate greater economic activities, create wealth and improve citizens’ livelihoods.
“We will adopt a re-industrialization policy master plan and partner with the private sector to revive or establish viable industries to create jobs and empower our people.
“We will also support the growth of small businesses and encourage commercial agriculture to achieve food security, industrialization and improved living standards for citizens. We witnessed unprecedented growth in infrastructure in the last eight years, but there’s still more to do. Therefore, we will follow in our leader’s footsteps to invest in capital projects, including roads, bridges, electricity supply to our rural areas, and social housing.
“With its interconnecting road network, the need for affordable, conducive and safe public transportation cannot be over-emphasized as Rivers State continues to grow and expand by leaps and bounds.
“We will, therefore, partner with the private sector to develop an integrated multimodal public transportation system to advance mass mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities across the State. We will also construct the Port Harcourt Ring Road to enhance the mobility of goods and services across the State.
“We are proud of the State’s achievements in the healthcare sector, particularly the construction of new primary healthcare centres, the Mother and Child Hospital, the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre and the contributory Healthcare Insurance Law.
“We will not abandon our youth to their fate. We will continue prioritizing education at all levels and empower our youth with the relevant skills and opportunities to become economically active, productive and prosperous.
“We believe in the job creation capacity of small and medium enterprises. And so, we shall facilitate targeted access to low-interest funds for youth entrepreneurs to start or improve their businesses, earn decent incomes and generate employment for themselves and others.
“To our civil servants, I thank all of you for your invaluable contributions to the State’s progress over the years. We appreciate your indispensability and promise to meet all our obligations to you, including regular payment of wages, pensions, gratuity, training and promotions. All we ask is your continued patriotism, dedication, and enthusiasm in the execution of your official duties.”