By Kenneth Jude
Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon, has said that the Akwa Ibom State Government has received approval from relevant agencies for the realisation of Ibom Deep Seaport.
He stated this at his residence in Uyo during a media chat with newsmen.
He revealed that 20 out of 22 checklists needed for the take-off of the project have been achieved, adding that the project is also enjoying positive support from the federal government.
“There are about 22 checklists for Ibom Deep Sea Port. We have done 20 and we are on the 21st. Several agencies need to give approval.
The development of any Deep Seaport is in the Exclusive List. We’re receiving the cooperation of different agencies.”
The Commissioner who noted that the Seaport project is a world project that will provide numerous opportunities for indigenes of the state and beyond, urged Akwa Ibom youths to update their skills in order to benefit from the vast opportunities that the project will provide.
He noted that Governor Udom Emmanuel is committed to the realisation of the project, adding that the governor is always responsive to any issue that has to do with the Ibom Deep Seaport project.
Mr. Okon commended the governor for his efforts and commitment to the project, adding that under his watch, significant progress has been made on the project.
While pointing out that port development is not a tea party, the Commissioner explained that the project requires a lot of documentation and approvals, adding that the government and the committee deserve to be commended for the level they have taken the project to.
The former Finance boss reiterated the need for all hands to be on deck towards the realisation of the project, maintaining that it is not a political party affair, but a venture that will be of immense benefit to everyone irrespective of political persuasions.
“The project is for Akwa Ibom people. Election has been won and lost. I’ve not seen any road done by the governor and put bitumen on it and said it is only for a particular political party. All of us will benefit from the beautifully paved roads done by this government, so let us join hands and support the government in all the projects that are being embarked upon for the good of our people,” he charged the people.
On what the government is doing to develop the riverine areas, Mr Akan Okon said that Governor Emmanuel is doing a lot in that direction. He disclosed that the governor has provided counterpart funding in the last few months which he said has enabled the ministry access funding for the community special development programmes.
According to the him, “a lot of communities in our local government areas and the riverine areas have been touched by this project. On three different occasions, I personally on be half of His Excellency the governor, handed over cheques to the various community development project committees. And the report we are getting is very encouraging. A lot of them have used these funds to ensure that some of the amenities that are lacking in their communities that could lead to the development of that community economically has been embarked upon. Some have used it to build markets, and apart from that, deliberate effort is being made by government to ensure that our rural communities are touched by government policies,” he said.
While commending Governor Emmanuel for his visionary leadership, he noted that the Ibom Deep Seaport will not exist alone but there’ll be what he termed Ibom Industrial City that will provide light and other industries to complement the Seaport.
He debunked insinuations that the project is not enjoying support from the federal government, noting that the level the project has reached is a testament to the support it has enjoyed from different quarters, adding that no reasonable person will work against a project that will provide employment for Nigerians.