Some Akwa Ibom State people see the inaugurated $45 million International market (Urua Nka) in Eket local government area of the state as a huge economic trigger, hoping it is not election promise ploy to woo support from the populace.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Monday, inaugurated the market which collaborated between the state government and Yiwu International Trade City of Nigeria.
Analysts in Comfort FM, Uyo Friday applauded the idea behind the market and see it as a welcome development to Akwa Ibom hitherto seen as a civil service state yet to have any international market.
Some analysts hoped that the market would not have ended with inauguration, and called on Governor Emmanuel to speed up the completion of the project.
They, therefore, called on the state government to expand Uyo-Eket Road leading to the market to accommodate the huge traffic the market is expected to attract to the state.
At the inauguration of the project in Eket, Emmanuel said “These are some of my campaign promises when I came on board in 2015, to build an international market and attract foreign investment to the state.
Represented by Mr. Gabriel Ukpe, Special Adviser to the Governor on Foreign Direct Investment, the governor said the market would be built on Public-Private Partnership (PPP), investment.
He promised to create enabling environment for project to thrive in the state. “Out of the 52 countries in Africa, they came to Nigeria; out of the 36 state in Nigeria, they came to Akwa Ibom; out of the 31 local governments in Akwa Ibom, they settled in Eket,” Emmanuel said.
The Governor reassured that he would commission the first phase of the project in the next six months. He said that project when completed would benefit the community and provide employment opportunities to the people of Eket.
Emmanuel thanked Yiwu International Trade City of Nigeria and its partners for having faith in the government and people of the state.
Mr. Miao Jingbao, Managing Director of Yiwu International Trade City of Nigeria, said the project consists of first phase and second phases, explaining that the first phase of the project would be completed in the next six months.
The first phase of the project would have 3,000 shops. The building will have ground floor, first floor and second floor and on completion would provide employment opportunities for 10,000 youths and women in the area.