Akwa Ibom State Governor inaugurates modern shopping mall to boost tourism, create wealth
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has inaugurated a modern shopping mall at the Ibom Tropicana entertainment centre in Uyo, the State capital as part of efforts to boost tourism and create wealth
The shopping mall was remodelled by the state government within the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre which was initially meant primarily for entertainment.
The centre was initiated by the immediate administration of the state when Godswill Akpabio was governor.
The cost of the centre was put at N32 billion when the contract was awarded many years ago, though it was later reviewed upwards.
It had many components including a high rise building which has yet to be completed.
Speaking while inaugurating the shopping mall, the governor reiterated his determination to ensure that Akwa Ibom State remains an investment-driven state in the Country, His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel on Thursday inaugurated the remodelled Ibom Tropicana Mall located along Udo Udoma Avenue in Uyo.
“My government is not a noise-making government. Give me space and I will give you a market space. Give me a carcass and I will give you Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. I will not allow investments belonging to Akwa Ibom people go down the drain. We will transform it to become value-adding to the society,” he said.
He noted that challenges were surrounding some projects which included a connection to the national grid as well as issues of an absence of feasibility studies, the business case for some of the projects.
He described the Tropicana Mall as the new face of business in Akwa Ibom state stating that it is not different from what is obtainable in Europe and elsewhere.
He said the project will help develop local businessmen, create jobs and wealth.
He thanked investors for accepting to do business in the state while assuring them of the government’s readiness to continually provide space for the indigenous retail chain to strive which local businesses will be developed.
“We came to create change and not manage it. What we have here is not different from what we have in Europe and elsewhere. By the time we are done with Eket international Market, it will complement what we have here. No more shopping in Dubai”. He assured.
In his remarks, Orman Esin, commissioner for culture and tourism expressed satisfaction over the strides of the state government in creating wealth and jobs for the teeming youths, men and women in the state
He lauded the governor for creating an enabling environment for investors to invest which he noted would stimulate domestic tourism and also strengthen business/commerce tourism in the state.
He urged every Akwa Ibom person to make judicious use of any given opportunity by the government as a means of putting food on their table while in search of greener pastures.
The Tropicana Mall whose remodelling groundbreaking exercise took place in 2015, is a Public-Private-Partnership business model where the investors have 75% and the state government has 25%. It sits on an 18, 249sqm space with 75 shops; leasable space of 10, 882 on the ground floor and 2363sqm on the top floor.
The mall will offer services ranging from entertainment, leisure, recreation, food and beverages, electronics and computers, groceries and sundry, fashion and health, etc.
It presently provides direct employment for 600 Akwa Ibom persons and 2500 indirect jobs along the value chain.