The Ibaka Deep Seaport project, a multi-million naira project that was initiated by the Godswill Akpabio administration over nine years ago, has received approval from the Federal Government for its procurement procedure.
The Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Mr. Akan Okon, made this known to Ibom Telegraph at the Ibom International Airport on Thursday, shortly after his arrival from a Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee meeting in Abuja.
According to Mr. Okon, “the Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee meeting was held to approve the procurement procedure for the Ibom Deep Seaport and that is a very critical stage. The meeting had in attendance the Ministry of Transport, the Infrastructure Regulatory Concession Agency, the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and the transaction advisers. With the approval, we are set to receive bids from prospective investors for the project.”
The Housing and Special Duties Commissioner explained that the Deep Seaport project was beyond Akwa Ibom, saying “With that approval, we are going to issue EOI and Request For Qualification (RFQ). Deep seaport development is not just like other projects. It is a very technical project and we had to make sure that we follow due process to ensure that we have a project that will be good for us. I will like to say this, the Ibom Deep Seaport project is not an Akwa Ibom project. It is a Nigerian project and an African project because when it comes on stream, it is going to earn revenue for the Federal Government, it is going to employ Nigerians and it is going to ensure that our neighbouring countries are able to gain from this golf because of the proximity.”
On whether the recent development on the Deep Seaport project will be stalled like the previous ones, Mr. Okon said “Go and find out. When any project reaches the procurement stage, it is sure that 70 – 75 percent of the work has been done. A lot of paperwork is involved before the actual construction.”