UYOâ€”Akwa Ibom State government has solicited collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the establishment of a seaport in the state.
Governor Godswill Akpabio, who made the call Wednesday when the Group Managing Director, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Uyo, said the state boasts of the deepest seaport at Ibaka, measuring about 15 feet deep.
Akpabio asserted â€œwe want to partner with you in the establishment of the seaport. We have the best shoreline for this. With this, we can assure you of the safety of your facilities when the seaport becomes operational.
â€œUnfortunately, most ports in the country were sited for political reasons, not economic viability. You need billions of naira to dredge those ports on a regular basis, but our seaport does not need so much. We may have to dredge it, at least every seven years because of its deep water natureâ€, he elaborated.
The governor commended President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua for introducing Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now in the National Assembly, which is meant to engender transparency among the different stakeholders in the industry, noting that though some Nigerians are cynical about the Bill, it would restore the lost billions of naira to the government.
When passed into law, according to him, the Bill would revolutionise the petroleum industry and rake in more revenue to the Federal Government and Akwa Ibom State being a major producer of oil and gas in the country.
â€œWe would support the Bill. Our economy is tied to the success of the Bill. Since industries are not working, we need to pass the Bill into law to boost our revenue. I intend to mobilize our 30 members in the National Assembly to support the quick passage of the BILL into lawâ€, Akpabio assured.
He thanked Mr. President for appointing great men- the NNPC Group Managing Director and the Minister of Petroleum, Engr. Rilwanu Lukman- to man and re-brand the petroleum industry, describing their appointments as â€œround pegs in round holesâ€.
Dr. Barkindo had earlier lauded the governor for the speedy transformation of the state, saying that government with the right leadership and the right people could work to debunk the false notion that government doesnâ€™t work.
Barkindo particularly lauded the tripling school enrolment in the state, state governmentâ€™s huge investments in the power sector, Federal and state roads as shinning examples of good leadership.