Reports Of Insecurity Exaggerated, Says Korean Ambassador

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Korean ambassador to Nigeria, Kim Young-Chae, has said reports of insecurity in Nigeria are exaggerated.

He said Korean companies were willing to invest in Nigeria.

The ambassador spoke during a visit to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt, the state capital, at the weekend.

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Young-Chae said contrary to negative media reports, he felt safe visiting Rivers, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Ogun and others states.

He said: “I visited Bayelsa State. The other day, I visited Adamawa State and Ogun State and it seems to me the security situation is in a way exaggerated. In most places, I feel safe. But the media coverage is often exaggerated and making matters worse.

“The biggest concern for Korean companies is political stability. So, political stability is key for Korean companies to decide investment in Nigeria. We want to see continuous political stability in Nigeria and that is what I have seen here (Rivers).”

The ambassador, who was accompanied by his wife and officials of the Korean embassy, commended Governor Wike’s leadership.

“We have seen enormous progress in Rivers state in terms of infrastructure. I salute your able leadership,” he said.

Young-Chae said Korea was seeking more economic cooperation with Rivers State and the rest of the country in the areas of construction, oil, gas, agriculture, fishery and even cosmetic, medicine, pharmaceutical products.

He declared his readiness to help Nigerian companies penetrate Korean and East Asian markets, whose combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed that of Europe and North America.

He praised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Rivers State, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, for being a worthy ambassador of Nigeria to the Republic of Korea.

Wike hailed the Korean ambassador for his pragmatic and objective analysis of the security situation in Rivers.

He said: “Let me sincerely thank you for saying clearly that the issue of insecurity is being exaggerated. People pay the media to carry negative publicity against states. Nobody will deny the fact of the problem we are facing in the country today and also the world in general.”

The governor said before the take-off of the $10bn NLNG Train 7 project, he met with the Managing Director of Daewoo and Saipem and they were quite satisfied with the level of security in the state.

He said: “Rivers State is one of the safest states in this country today. Get the security statistics from the Police, from the State Security Services, from the military, they will tell you so.

“When people say Rivers State is one of the most unsafe state, you then ask them where did you get your statistics from.

“You and I know if there is insecurity today, NLNG Train 7 cannot take place, because that is one of the biggest investment in this country today, $10bn investment. Nobody can make that kind of investment to a state where there is so much insecurity.”

On unemployment, the governor explained that if the national economy was not stable, it would affect the sub-nationals.

“If the national economy is booming, then there is the tendency that the component units economy will also boom. So, people who do not have an idea of the economy will come up to say that there is so much unemployment in the state,” he said.

Wike expressed the willingness of the Rivers State government to partner with the Republic of Korea in agriculture, technical education and medicine.

The governor observed that most countries were depending less on oil as a major source of revenue adding that the government was focusing on agriculture by establishing a cassava processing company.

He said that the state government was willing to provide all necessary documentation, land and give all the waivers and incentives to Korean investors wishing to invest in the agricultural sector in Rivers State.

“We will make sure that we give you the concession for those private investors, even tax rebate as it may be,” he said.

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