By Glory JAMES
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has charged investors at the 2020 Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS) to take advantage of the wide range of opportunities in the state’s aviation sector, recorded as the fastest growing sector in terms of earnings.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Summit in United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday, the State Commissioner for Special Duties, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, said “the Governor had useful meetings with big players and investors in the aviation industry. A lot of them have shown interest in the completion and running of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Victor Attah International Airport.”
Rt. Hon. Etteh, who also hinted that year 2020 has lots of prospects for the Akwa Ibom, said “the Summit also afforded the Governor the opportunity to meet with the Marriott Group Vice President for Sub-Sahara Africa, Mr. Ibrahim Barghout, to finalize arrangement for the smooth opening of the Four-Point by Sheraton, Ikot Ekpene.”
He informed that, with the much-needed investment, the sector, which boasts of a home carrier, Ibom Air, has the potential to directly and indirectly employ millions Akwa Ibom youths, boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), among others.
The Special Duties Commissioner said “Governor Emmanuel’s agenda and governance, which is tailored to a vibrant economic plan, is for the development, progress and a greener future for Akwa Ibom.”
Speaking further, Rt. Hon. Etteh said “the Governor’s commitment to diversify the state’s economy and provide jobs for the people of the state is not in doubt. He has used this Summit, like every other ones, to showcase Akwa Ibom’s economic potentials and the many incentives put in place by this administration to make Akwa Ibom attractive for investors.”
He explained that “the Udom Emmanuel administration recognizes aviation as a strategic income stream and as such is doing its best to take advantage of it. The administration has created a more investor-friendly environment through its industrialization thrust. I can say boldly that today, our home carrier, Ibom Air, as well as our hospitality hub, the Four-Point by Sheraton are receiving attentions from international investors.”
The Commissioner also added that “Governor Udom Emmanuel’s approach to turning Akwa Ibom to Nigeria’s investment hub is very holistic. Developing necessary infrastructure to support investment are some of his integrated methods and he has shown unreserved commitment to this.”
The Governor was accompanied to the Summit by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem; Chairman of the Ibom Airport Development Company Limited (IADCL), Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga; the Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Capt Mfon Udom, a Director in the Ministry of Special Duties, Engr. Ephraim Udosen, and the Managing Director of IADCL, Mr. Uwem Ekanem.
The GIAS 2020 Summit recorded breaking number of activities including Aviation Finance and Airport Project Finance Master Classes where talks on Aircraft Investment, Fleet Management, PPP Business Models, Airport Future Solutions, among others were made.