BY Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
THE Federal government has commended the commitment and preparedness of Akwa Ibom state government towards the development of the Ibom Deep Sea port project. Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Mr. Chidi Izuwah gave the commendation during the weekend when he led other stakeholders including , Nigeria Ports Authority, (NPA), Federal Ministry of Transportation, and Ministerial Project Development Steering committee (MPDSC) to inspect the project site in Mbo local government area.
Izuwah said, “We are proud to be on this visit to verify that all the preparations to move this project forward are going very well. I cannot describe the joy I have in my heart to be here today to see that something we started sometime ago is beginning to take shape in terms of physical reality. “I congratulate the governor for his commitment towards this project. This sea port is crucial to Nigeria’s economic survival. It is designed to serve all parts of Nigeria. It is also crucial to the development of the South South region. “The Federal government wants to see Infrastructure development in every part of the country, so this is a sign of that. So we (stakeholders) are here today to ensure that this particular infrastructure that will create, jobs, wealth, and develop our people is done. When completed this project will provide 5000 to 10, 000 direct jobs for Nigerians”.
Izuwah added that the commitment of the state government towards the construction of the 12-lane Super highway leading to the sea port, further demonstrates its preparedness for the take- off the Sea port project. In his remarks, Director of Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Pius Oteh said they were convinced that the project was good to take off given what they saw at the project site in terms of state government commitment and determination to get it moving forward. Oteh who is also a member of the Ministerial Project Development Steering committee (MPDSC) stressed that the sea port project was good to take off once the final business case processes were completed. “As a supervisory ministry for infrastructure such as this, we are impressed, and we have seen the need to give this project very full support. If you can recall, very recently, the hon. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi had stated that this sea port is good to go once we get the full business case completed and adopted. ” I am happy to tell you that in the meeting stakeholders held yesterday which included the Federal Ministry of Finance, the ICRC and state government, we took very strong steps in adopting the Full Business Case which will now be presented to the Federal Executive Council by the Minister soon as we complete all the processes. “It is really a great opportunity to come very close to the project site. I want to say that we are committed, we are supportive, and we are happy with the steps that have been taken so far” Also speaking, Chairman Technical Committee on Ibom Deep Seaport Actualisation and Development, Mrs. Mfon Usoro said she was impressed with the collaboration of the federal government and the state government so far stressing, “Akwa Ibom people should have no doubt about Federal government support . “We have shown the Ministerial Project Development Steering committee what Akwa Ibom state has done to show their preparedness towards this project. And I want to thank the governor for pushing this project so far. I am impressed indeed”