..Says FG spends N8.9trn on infrastructure devt
By Chioma Onuegbu Uyo
THE Vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has said he is very proud of governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state for his great achievements in the area of infrastructure and industrialization in six years of his stewardship as the governor of the state.
Osinbajo who spoke while commissioning the 21-Storey Dakkada Towers on Friday in Uyo, recalled that in 2015 the governor had shared the vision of his administration to construct the tallest building in the South-South and Southeast regions.
He noted that the 21-storey smart building is not just the tallest region, but certainly among the tallest in Nigeria and in West Africa, congratulated the state governor for his visionary leadership.
He also congratulated members of his team who have worked so hard to ensure the realization of the vision as well as the project developers for delivering the edifice in good time.
His words, “So the completion of the Dakkada Towers will most definitely address the questions of the paucity of world-class office accommodation for both the local and corporate international companies, especially oil and gas companies. This will certainly boost the revenue of the state and open doors for further investments.
“With this development, the big players in corporate Nigeria especially in the oil and gas industry should now find it entirely auspicious to relocate their administrative headquarters to Uyo. I hear that various expressions of interest have already been received from Companies in the oil and gas, banking and all various sectors of the economy.
‘The Dakkada towers is a catalyst for the private sector, to leverage on the emerging real estate market by constructing more skyscrapers which will be required, as the promoters and partners of several of the industrial projects here in Akwa Ibom state begin to demand quality accommodation for their offices.
” I am very proud of what my brother has achieved in the six years of his stewardship as the governor of this state, especially with his industrialization agenda. There will also be new jobs created, transfer of knowledge and technology as the Tower is put to use”
The Vice president who earlier flagged off the 557 low density “Dakkada Luxury Estate, underscored the importance of infrastructure in attracting investment, noting that the Federal government has spent over N8.9trillon on infrastructural development in the country as of last year.
“As you are aware, since the inception of our administration Mr President has prioritised the development of Infrastructure. And despite the severe economic headwind we experienced in the past six years we have invested more than any administration on infrastructure.
“As of last year, we had expended over N8.9trillion on infrastructure. Just last month the Federal Executive Council approved the Lagos-Calabar rail project which will pass through Uyo as a major station. At the end of last year the Council also approved the Full business case for the Ibom Deep seaport”, Osinbajo disclosed.
In his remarks earlier, the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel appreciated the VP for his consistent show of love towards Akwa Ibom state, saying he was greatly excited because when he started the project the naysayers said he won’t be able to complete it.
“But today we are presenting to Akwa Ibom people in Nigeria, in the Diaspora, the smartest, the most intelligent, and the tallest building that Nigeria can boast of” Emmanuel said.
He noted that the IOC’s will have no excuse not to relocate their administrative headquarters to the state, stressing, ” If you check the balance sheet of the IOCs hardly, will you see them erecting any building, but they pay rent. They used to complain we can’t do this, we can’t have office accommodation, that excuse has ended today.
“We are spearheading innovations that will generate revenue, create jobs and put us on the world map. People see me working, and they say you are not working as a second-term governor. There is no second term in my blood vein. What I am doing is to move Akwa Ibom forward. That is why I refused to be distracted”
Earlier in his goodwill message, the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Hakan Cakil, expressed satisfaction over the quality of work done at the 21-storey smart building and thanked the government for inviting him to be part of the inauguration of the edifice which was designed and constructed by a Turkish firm, VKS Construction Company Limited.
He noted that VKS is a global company incorporated in Nigeria for over 40 years, adding, “I hope our bilateral relations will continue to grow and made stronger”
Also in his goodwill message, a former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke lauded Governor Emmanuel for fulfilling his vision to move the state forward, saying, “So today I want to congratulate you, the people of Akwa Ibom state for what is happening here. It is leadership, some may not see it, but in a couple of years to come, they will appreciate what has been done here”,
On her part, the Senator representing Akwa Ibom South (Eket Senatorial district) Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said Akwa Ibom people were proud of the governor because they unanimously gave him the mandate to serve in 2015, and that his performance has lived up to expectations.
She recalled that over the years lack of conducive office space was the excuse given by IOC’s for not moving to the state, stressing, “And when governor Emmanuel came on board he ensured that there will be no more excuses. Today we have this edifice standing to the glory of God. We are people are very proud of you”.
While giving technical details of the 21-storey smart building, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr Okpolupm Etteh reminded the VIce president that the demand for the relocation of the IOC’s to the state resurfaced during his (VP) visit to the State, and recalled that he had immediately directed the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, to liaise with the IOC’s on the way forward over the issue.
“May I respectfully intimate you that this ultra-modern Tower is situated on a massive site area of 48, 200 square metres (4.82 hectares). It is an ICT compliant intelligent structure with a 24hours power supply.
” It is 104 metres high with 21 floors of rentable office spaces, surrounded by a podium which includes restaurants, banks and adequate convenience services. It has a parking space which can accommodate about 400 cars”, Etteh explained.