No expression can best describe the awe and envy felt by the visiting federal government officials who were cordoned today by the trio of the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-eyen, his counterpart in Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon and the State Information Boss, Mr. Charles Udoh, around routes to the proposed Ibom Deep Seaport project site.
The delegation from the Presidency which consisted members of Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Port Authority and Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) were overwhelmed by the network of roads the Ibom Deep Seaport has, with links to the East-West Road, Onne Port, Mobil Oil Producing as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Their expressions were all nods of kudos to a job well done by the working state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
Expressing satisfaction with the progress of work at the project site, the delegation announced the full adoption of the project and commended the state government for its focus and commitment towards ensuring that the seaport becomes functional within stipulated time.
The Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulating Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Audu-Izuwah who could not hold back his amazement commented that the project further confirms Governor Emmanuel’s determination and promise to industrialize the State and thus, make it a regional commercial hub.
He projected that the natural depth of the seaport and the sophisticated facilities it hopes to have, the project on completion will be able to create minimum of 5000 and maximum of 10, 000 employment opportunities and thus, impact positively on revenue generation for the country.
“I am so delighted to see these things by myself today. Ibom Deep Seaport will be the best seaport in Nigeria and the sub-region with natural depth, and it will also help to decongest Lagos, Port Harcourt and other seaports. I’m amazed at the level of work recorded so far by the Akwa Ibom State Government”, Mr. Izuwah expressed.
“I wish the seaport was ready just now to solve our many needs. It has the ability to create 5000 to 10, 000 direct jobs” he wished, and assured that the federal government was going to do everything possible to support the state government towards driving the project to its completion within the set time frame.
It would be recalled that State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel had earlier assured that the seaport when completed will not only improve the economy of the state but also create more employment opportunities for Nigerians across demography.
Relishing the beauty of the road network outlay designed for access and evacuation of goods and services from the deep seaport, the federal official described it as world-class and visionary, adding that, being God’s natural gift to Nigeria, Ibom Deep Seaport will be harnessed by the Federal Government in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government, the National Assembly, Technical Partners and core investors to decongest Lagos when it becomes operational.
Mr Izuwah dismissed fears that the Federal Government will play politics with the project, insisting that, President Muhammadu Buhari is totally committed to transforming all parts of Nigeria with positive development without political bias.
Other visiting nationals who spoke at the site were full of admiration as they continued to pour accolades on the governor and lauded his initiative in embarking on such project. Perhaps, they wished to own such mind-blowing project which they separately described as the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Undoubtedly, the stories which will resonate in their minds as they return to their respective homes is that of how Akwa Ibom State is about emerging the giant of economic investment and advancement in Nigeria and beyond.
Of course, with the Deep Seaport located inches away from the Atlantic Ocean, the coast is already made clear for international exchanges.
Akwa Ibom people should therefore be proud of their soon-to-be elevation as the World’s choice place for commerce relations.
This perhaps is the reason the Ibom Deep Seaport Commissioner, Mr. Akan Okon remarked that “Our people are always doubting Thomases” who won’t believe until they see with their naked eyes the swell benefits of what the state government is doing for them; how their identities are being massively upgraded by the state government.
Mr Okon, beyond thanking the federal government for her support so far had announced that the Deep Seaport project will be ready for operations by March 2020.
He noted that the coming of the NPA, ICRC, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Finance and all agencies responsible for the development of the site, to witness the progress rate was an assurance of the federal government’s involvement in the project.
He stressed that the project will be done in phases and will be ready for use within the lifespan of the present administration.
…Udom is working!