Akpabio Returns From Successful Overseas Investment Drive, Acknowledges National Honour
04 Nov 2011
Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Chief (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio has returned to the country and was received by state officials on Friday, including the Deputy Governor Mr. Nsima Ekere, in Abuja. The governor had been away on President Goodluck Jonathan’s entourage to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Australia and intensive overseas investment drive as a means of realising the industrialisation of the state being a cardinal focus of his second term mandate from the people, the end being to constructively and sustainably create and develop enough jobs to go round.
|Flags of commonwealth nations on display|
|The medal of the Commander of the Order of the Niger to be awarded Gov. Akpabio on Nov. 14|
|Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, acknowledging cheers from the people at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on arrival from overseas economic and investment trip on Friday|
|Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio fielding questions from Journalists at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on arrival from overseas economic and investment trip on Friday|
Apart from Australia, the governor had been to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as well and in the process meeting with members of the global industrial powerhouse with a view to establish a course of action for open skies, open seas, and open trade to rapidly develop Akwa Ibom State. The open skies drive will develop Akwa Ibom International Airport as one of the busiest in Nigeria, the move for open seas will in the medium term seek to complement the sea port in Lagos with the deep sea port in Ibaka, while the open trade push will jump start the economy of the Niger Delta and create jobs for the youths.
In UAE the governor had fruitful meetings and discussions with the Emirates Group, a global player in the aviation and tourism industries, with a global reputation for excellence spanning every aspect of their industrial sectors, and are looking to provide synergy to upscale the passenger, cargo, and ground handling services of the Akwa Ibom International Airport.
According to Gov. Akpabio “We are looking at providing a hub for the Gulf of Guinea in aviation in Nigeria. We are also looking at exploring investment opportunities at the international deep sea port at Ibaka which will complement the sea port in Lagos and which we are developing in collaboration with the federal government”.
The Akwa Ibom International Airport which presently enjoys flight operations from Nigeria’s major airlines (Arik, Dana, and Aero Contractors) is to be built into a regional aviation super power with an on-going construction of a state-of-the-art international terminal and Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility, as well as support for cargo services to boost the regional economy. The airport also supports tourism components of Le’Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort as well as the Tropicana Entertainment Centre and is responsible for rapidly opening up the celebrated and beautiful coastal state of Akwa Ibom State to the socially superior members of the global community.
A symmetrical flip of the aviation industry will be developed in the maritime industry as the state develops the deep seaport at Ibaka. The deep seaport will explore and develop various segments of the maritime industry and empower youths of the state and the region through owning, management, and servicing of sea going vessels, shipyards, oil and gas fabrication yards, and subsurface technology components among others. It can be recalled that in one of the campaigns for his re-election, Gov. Akpabio at Mbo had promised to make Mbo the ‘cornerstone of the Nigerian economy’
On the national honour and award of Commander of the Niger (CON), Chief Akpabio said that the national honour award that would be conferred on him by President Goodluck Jonathan on November 14, would spur him on to greater service for Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria. The Governor said, “I read about it on the internet and I want to express my appreciation to this country for the various opportunities given to me. It will spur me on to deliver more service to the country. I also want to thank Mr. President for finding me worthy to be given this honour.
“This particular honour is coming despite pernicious propaganda that was unleashed against me and my government by the opposition, who had thought they could blind fold Nigerians about what was happening in Akwa Ibom State,” he said.
Governor Akpabio further disclosed that in the next one week, he will send a delegation of experts to follow up on the various discussions he had had with investors during his investment drive abroad towards mutually embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures, promising that he would redouble his efforts in the second term in providing dividends of democracy to the people.