By Akanimo Sampson
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State says Nigeria’s economy will take a dramatic turn for the better when the Ibom Deep Seaport comes on stream.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor has accordingly lauded the Federal Government over moves to ensure the speedy realisation of the deep seaport project.
He also commended the Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, and all the relevant federal regulatory agencies for working tirelessly with the state government to actualise a vision that will transform the economic fortunes of the entire country.
Emmanuel also commended the Technical Committee on the Realisation of Ibom Deep Seaport, led by Mfon Usoro, for its dedication and high sense of patriotism displayed in pursuing the project.
The Governor’s commendations are coming following reports that Abuja is set to move to the next level of the procurement process of the Ibom Deep Sea Port through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) during the presentation of full business case compliance certificate to the Minister of Transportation.
The governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Akan Okon, said “the government and people of Akwa Ibom are very happy with this development and we must appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his visionary leadership.”
According to him, “this certification is clear evidence that the federal government appreciates the extensive benefits Ibom Deep Seaport will attract to the country in terms of expansive business and employment opportunities”.
“In addition, this development will provide federal with an additional port to help decongest other ports and ensure that Nigeria enjoys seamless engagement in its maritime sector,” he said.
Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Chidi Izuwah, has presented the Full Business Case Compliance Certificate for the project to the transportation minister.
During the presentation, Izuwah noted that “the IDWP project is planned to become a major national and regional economic gateway that will provide additional container handling capacity for the country.
“In addition to containers, the IDWP is expected to handle petroleum products, crude oil, natural gas, vehicles and bulk trade in natural resources thereby expanding and further developing the Nation’s transport sector’, he said.
He thanked the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, and Governor Udom Emmanuel for all their effort in getting the project to this point.
The IDWP project involves the development of a Greenfield Deep Seaport and accompanying Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Akwa Ibom State in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria.
The proposed Port and FTZ are part of the planned Ibom Industrial City initiative that will be established on a 14,400-hectare site donated by the Akwa Ibom State Government free of charge.
It may be recalled that Bollore/Power China emerged the preferred bidder for IDSP following the transparent bidding process that held earlier. Federal Executive Council presentation and approval and commercial close is the next stage for the project.