Ibom Industrial City To Employ Over 10,000
21 Apr 2012
The proposed Ibom Industrial City at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is to employ directly and indirectly over 100,000 people when fully operational.
Governor Godswill Akpabio, who stated this on Saturday during the 2012 passing-out-parade and graduation ceremony of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, explained that the industrial city will be an industrial mix of oil and gas-based support services, dockyard and watercraft repair facilities, fertilizer plant, oil refinery, gas-to-liquid projects, petrochemical industries, power plant and deep seaport, among others.
Represented by his deputy, Mr. Nsima Ekere, the Governor said the industrial city, which would encompass a seaport, would also increase the export base of the state and put the state on the oil and gas map of the world while the seaport, one of the deepest in Nigeria, would open up the state as one of the gateways to the world in the Gulf of Guinea and the West African Sub-Region.
Chief Akpabio reasoned that the port, which would not require perennial dredging, when constructed would complement the ports at Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar and help boost Nigeria's influence in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said that the industrial city was conceptualized by the State Government in consciousness of the economic power of the maritime industry and the economic wealth of the Gulf of Guinea.
The Governor expressed the belief that the manpower for the port would come from the Academy as its graduates could compete favourably with their colleagues from other parts of the world.
He commended the management and staff of the Academy for the institution's high academic standard and sense of social responsibility as exhibited in the partnership it recently entered into with its host community, Eyo Abasi.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, announced that he will inaugurate a 17-member committee to drive the process that will culminate in the upgrading of the Academy to a robust and functional maritime university that would be the best in Africa and comparable to any in the world within the next one month.
He said an executive bill will also be presented on the issue to the National Assembly as soon as the committee completed its assignment.
The Minister commended Governor Akpabio for allocating a large parcel of land to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport and disclosed that his ministry and the NPA have received a number of proposals from private investors who have shown interest to partner with the ministry and the NPA on one part and the Akwa Ibom State Government on the other.
The Rector of the Academy, Mr.Joshua Okpo, thanked the Governor for the allocation of additional land space not only to meet the requirement of the National Universities Commission (NUC) for upgrading to a university but to also accommodate more cadets, employees and training facilities.
He lamented that the rapid development of the school was slowed by inadequate funding and appealed to the private sector stakeholders as the oil companies, marine surveyors' outfits, boat yards, seaport terminal operators, shipping lines, crewing agents and many others who operate in Nigeria to join the government in contributing to the funding of the Academy.