Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, on Wednesday, sought the support of the Federal Government for the take-off of the long-proposed Ibom Deepsea Port, and the revamping of the palm oil project abandoned in the state for 28 years.
Eno said the two projects can serve as catalysts for economic expansion and job creation in the south-south and south-east regions, hoping that the port will get support from President Bola Tinubu’s administration
He spoke to State House journalists, after a meeting with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa Abuja on Wednesday.
“We’ve talked and requested the president to support the Ibom Deepsea Port, and our agricultural programme, especially the oil palm project.
“Akwa Ibom is an oil palm zone. And we have started the process of revamping the project which has remained moribund for about 28 years.
“It is being revamped right now. We need the support of the Federal Government to be able to have a full value chain and then bring people to work and be able to help Nigeria.
We can even get to exporting palm oil because right now, we’re still importing a lot of it.
“The president has graciously granted that I bring the memo to the request, including the costs for the maintenance, repairs, and overhaul of the projects.
“The president is a businessman. He had to also ask if we are making profits running Ibom Air, because the government has no business running a business.
“I told him that the Akwa Ibom State government is completely out of the running of Ibom Air. Ibom Air is making a profit and they are ploughing it back for expansion and the airport facility, the second taxiway is on. We have the new terminal, and he was pleased to hear that.
“We need to partner with the Federal Government to get work going in the state. Akwa Ibom is part of Nigeria. He is the president of Nigeria; he needs to know how one of his component states is doing. I just came for a normal briefing though.
He explained that the Ibom Deepsea Port being the deepest wharf in the south-south, would bring in ship and we can ship from that point.
“Again, Lagos is there. But you also know Lagos is congested. Of course, that is no story. So, you need a deep seaport that will take care of the southeast, south-south, if you like, the Niger Delta region,” Eno said.