Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has fulfilled a key part of his campaign promise to ensure the completion of the Ibom Deep Seaport project before the end of his administration as evidenced by the securing of the final approval for commencement of the project.
The approval of the project by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday, December 16 signalled the completion of a series of approvals for the prime A¹ project which has outlasted two previous administrations.
Since his emergence, Governor Emmanuel has invested enormous energy, business contacts, and resources toward acquiring requisite approvals for the commencement of the project because he believes it will greatly enhance the state’s economy and create vast employment opportunities for Nigerians.
During his state-wide broadcast to mark the 33rd anniversary of the state, the governor vowed that his administration will secure a breakthrough for the project, revealing that his government was working hard to ensure cooperation with all the regulatory agencies to make it a reality.
Speaking to journalists including a Legit.ng reporter on the implications of the latest and final approval for the Ibom Deep Seaport, the Akwa Ibom state commissioner for economic development, and deep seaport, Mr. Akan Okon noted that the project will soon be completed.
“It started with an OVC and approval of the procurement process, we then moved to the setting up of the Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee made up of representatives from the ministry of transport, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Port Authority and ministry of finance.
This committee approved the procurement process for the port which included the issuance of a request for qualification, request for proposal from prospective bidders. Eventually, those that submitted were evaluated and a preferred bidder emerged by the name Bollore/Power China.
“With that emergence, we needed to prepare a Full Business Case for the development of Ibom Deep Seaport, which is what has been approved by the Federal Executive Council today for Ibom Deep Seaport to commence construction.”
The commissioner further revealed that with the final approval the project will kick start almost immediately, adding:
“This is what we’ve been waiting for. We have a preferred bidder in place and even as the process of approval was ongoing we had appointed a technical team to carry on with the various studies required for the construction of the port.”
He emphasized that Governor Udom Emmanuel has fulfilled his promise to Akwa Ibom people as regards the project, adding that with the approval, all activities required to commence the project will be fast-tracked.