The Federal Government has again commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for his efforts at maintaining peace and security in Akwa Ibom State.
It has also approved immediate establishment of an oil and gas logistic facility in the state.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and ex- Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva stated this at a Gala Night organised by the Akwa Ibom State Government in honour of a delegation of stakeholders in the oil and gas industry that were in the state over the weekend for a major oil and gas sector retreat.
Maintaining that their visit was a response to the Governor’s efforts in maintaining peace and security, Chief Sylva noted that “we want to send a message to the rest of the states, that there is something to be gained in maintaining peace.”
“Few concerns were raised on the choice of Akwa Ibom for our retreat, but politics was not part of the consideration.”
“I have the full support of NNPC to announce to you that we are very interested to partner with you to build a base here. It will be the first here.
“As we go back, work will start in ernest. Mr President has already helped by signing a free trade zone status for that area.
“We are happy that we came here.We had very fruitful deliberations and we were very satisfied.
“We went all the way to Ibaka, a very interesting and painstaking journey. Some people in my team were excited because it was a rare experience using the boats.”
Chief Sylva also announced approval for a partnership deal for the establishment of a petroleum depot by Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation.
He urged the Governor to set up a team to work with the NNPC in drawing up modalities for the collaboration.
On the 21 Storey Smart Building being executed by the Governor, he said the NNPC was already considering taking some aspects of the corporation for accommodation in the building.
He explained that President Buhari does not play politics with development, hence his initiatives in Akwa Ibom, despite being a PDP state, and urged for more support to him.
“We request that you cooperate with the President so that the weight of governance on him would be lighter.
While describing Akwa Ibom as his second home, the Minister thanked the Governor for his support to his family during his father in law’s funeral events held in March this year at Eket.
Earlier, Governor Emmanuel had expressed appreciation for the planned NNPC oil and gas logistic center for the state, proposing that the groundbreaking be done in September to mark the state’s 33rd anniversary.
He commended the delegation for the stress in going all the way to assess the site at Ibaka.
He also disclosed that President Buhari approved a 50,000-hectare oil and gas free trade zone in Akwa Ibom and urged the minister to partner with the state for the 540 megawatts Qua Iboe Power Plant project.
He further used the occasion to urge the relocation of multinational oil giants, ExxonMobil to its host state, saying his administration has done a lot including building a 21 storey intelligence building named Dakkada Towers, and housing estates which could effectively serve the company and its workers.
“I want the Honourable Minister to make just a statement, and ExxonMobil will be here. They are not safer where they are than in Akwa Ibom. Akwa Ibom is peaceful.
“We are ready to support their relocation. Mobil is a very difficult corporate citizen but the Minister can give them the directive to come here.
“They process over 15billion barrel from our shores and that alone should propel them. They don’t have such excellent production anywhere else in the world.”
He also expressed his readiness to provide support ranging from land and electricity, for an NNPC depot in the state.
Mr Emmanuel who faulted the NBS statistics of unemployment for the state, announced that a car assembling and manufacturing plant and other projects gearing up in the state would generate more massive employment opportunities for the state.