Akwa Ibom indigenes especially host communities shall be carried along at every stage of Ibom Deep Seaport development.
The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Technical Committee on the realization of Ibom Deep Seaport, Mrs Mfon Usoro gave the assurance during a meeting with members of the Ministerial Project Development and Steering Committee (MPDSC) at Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, Uyo.
Usoro who thanked the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for putting everything in place for the implementation of the project however, advised the indigenes to acquire and upgrade themselves in the requisite skills that would be needed during the construction and operations of the port.
She affirmed that with the support received from Infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), the Committee has been able to go through all the internationally accepted procurement processes that will lead to the actualisation of the port.
“We have also completed works in the Full Business Case, a part of why we convened today with the Federal Ministry of Finance, ICRC, NPA, and the FMOT, was to agree on work-plan between now and end of first quarter of the year, 2020 so we can have final approval from the Federal Government on the project which is the Full Business Case”. She opined.
Mrs Usoro disclosed that “the Committee had carefully followed the Federal Government laid down procedures for port development and the process has earned the State a reputable and biggest terminal operator in Africa with the Bollore Power China Consortium as the preferred bidder”.
Earlier, the Chairman of the MPDSC, A.D Suleiman gave commended the Akwa Ibom State Government for compliance with all the requirements needed for the establishment of the Ibom Deep Seaport.
Suleiman explained that the purpose of the meeting was to update members on the progress so far achieved for the Ibom Deep Seaport project.
He said one key factor that necessitated the meeting was to provide an avenue for the adoption of the updated Full Business Case for onward submission to the Federal Executive Council.
Mr Suleiman expressed gratitude to the Akwa Ibom State Government for the level of commitment shown towards the actualisation of the port, assuring that the project will soon receive final approval from the Federal Government for the commencement of operations.
On his part, the Director-General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, opined that, with the level of success recorded by the Akwa Ibom State Technical Working Committee on the realization of the Ibom Deep Seaport, it is time to break grounds for the take-off of the project.
He urged the committee to be target driven in order to achieve the task.
On his part, the State Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, also applauded Governor Emmanuel for his passion in developing the State.
He also thanked members of the committees for the efforts put towards the actualisation of the Seaport project.
Mr Okon asserted that upon actualisation, the port will create lots of employment opportunities for the teeming youths as well as increase revenue for both the Federal and State Government.
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