Hope is rising for the reconstruction of defunct Science and Technology Park, Uyo in Akwa Ibom state, 13 years after its conception.
The project conceived by a former governor of the state, Obong Victor Attah in 2006 was abandoned by the contractor after he had collected a whopping N5.2 billion upfront.
The park to be built by China Blue Sea International Holdings daubed Ibom Blue Sea Science and Technology Park.
It will boast of University of Technology, Vocational Centre, five-star hotel, hospital and power plant.
Performing the flag-off ceremony on Thursday, Governor Udom Emmanuel said the state has enormous business opportunities and called on interested foreign investors to open businesses in the state assuring them of a guaranteed conducive environment.
“We’ve created an environment for people to come in and invest, we are calling on other investors, other Chinese companies that are here, let them come. We will collaborate, we will make sure they invest in Akwa Ibom and reap returns on their investment.”
He thanked the Chairman China Blue Sea International Holdings, Mr. Chen Xuewen, for collaborating with the state government, saying that the park will be one of the best in Africa when completed.
“I want to thank Mr. Chen who had believed so much in our capacity, collaboration and what we can do together. Once this vision is realised which I believe God it will, the science park will be number one in Africa”.
The Governor assured the Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Chu Mac Ming and the Chairman China Blue Sea International Holdings, of the State Government’s readiness to ensure the completion of the science park, while calling on youths of the state to take advantage of the project to create wealth through their creativity.
Speaking, Attah, a former governor of Akwa Ibom state and progenitor of the science park project, expressed delight over Governor Emmanuel’s adoption and expansion of the project.
“I have come here because I feel really fulfilled and I have come to thank Governor Udom Emmanuel, not just because he has revived what I know is going to be a life-transforming project, but because in so doing, he has brought an end to that era of destructive politicking whereby we turn our backs on the projects of our predecessors. That, for me, is a landmark lesson for Akwa Ibom people to learn, particularly those who are seeking office,” Attah said.
Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, described the vision of the Science Park as a laudable industrial development, and commended Governor Udom Emmanuel’s decision to take over the project from where former Governor Victor Attah stopped.
Ekuwem said Governor Emmanuel has performed remarkably well by attracting industries to the State adding that there will be commencement of rapid socio-economic development of the state as the operations of the project will be equated to America’s Silicon Valley, Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor, South Africa’s Innovation Hub and others.
In his remark, Mr. Chen Xuewen, the Chairman, China Blue Sea International Holdings, congratulated Governor Emmanuel on his business acumen, describing Akwa Ibom as a veritable environment for economic transformation which will engender small and medium scale entrepreneurial growth.