By Chioma Onuegbu
Uyo — Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Mr. Akan Okon, yesterday, said the state government had made significant progress at the Ibom International Airport and the Ibom deep seaport in the past three years because of the importance Governor Udom Emmanuel attaches to such infrastructure.
Okon while fielding questions from newsmen in Uyo on the state of the Ibom deep seaport project following insinuations in some quarters that government was doing nothing about the project as it claimed, disclosed that the ground breaking hopefully would be performed by November this year, noting that all other processes that lead to the construction had been completed, remaining signing negotiation with the preferred bidder.
He said, “Anywhere in the world that you have a seaport, it is capable of changing the narrative of the society because of the employment opportunity it creates. That is why upon assumption of office, Governor Emmanuel set up a technical committee to ensure that the Ibom Deep seaport project is realized.
“And with the level that we have reached now, by the end of November this year, God willing, there should be a ground breaking. The most important thing was getting a preferred bidder. We have done that. The bidder’s conference was held in May this year in Uyo.
“Now we are going to go into negotiations with them, and sign the necessary agreements. This is then sent to the Federal Government which will now approve, and when that is done, I can assure you that the construction of the Port will now commence. So this government believe we need this project and that is why we are partnering the Federal Government to make sure this project comes alive.”
The commissioner dismissed speculations that the location of the Deep seaport had been changed from Ibaka in Mbo LGA to Ibeno LGA of the state.
On other achievements of his ministry, Okon said, “In respect of other things that we have done, you know that our Airport has been run on generator since inception. But I am happy to tell you that this government has successfully completed a power substation to power the Airport. We believe this is going to ensure that the Airport is run efficiently. Notwithstanding that the resources that is available to us is not the way it used to be, but the government attaches importance to such infrastructure.”