Akwa Ibom government lauds federal agencies’ support for deep sea port
As the final document for the Ibom Deep Sea Port awaits Federal Executive Council (FAC’s) approval, the Akwa Ibom State government has commended all federal agencies in charge of port development for their support towards realising the project.
Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Port, Akan Okon, stated this while fielding questions from journalists on the level of work on the project in his office yesterday.
His words: “For us to get to this level on the Ibom Deep Sea Port, we have received the support of all federal agencies involved in port development, that is why we have been able to get to the level we are.
“And I want to thank all of them for the support they have given which is an act of patriotism for believing in the project capable of generating employment opportunities for our country.
“Am happy that we have gone through internationally acceptable bidding and procurement processes, which started with the approval of the Updated Business Case and Approval of Procurement Process by the Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee, comprising the Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), ICRC and other agencies.
As I speak, based on that process, all parties have executed the Full Business Care, which is the final document and it is with the Federal Ministry of Transportation for presentation to FAC for approval. Once it is signed, we are good to go,” he said.
He said the Federal Government attention to the realisation of the project might not be unconnected with the comparative advantage the Ibom Deep Sea Port has over other ports in the country.
“The truth is that the Ibom Deep Sea Port is natural deep sea port that would allow the latest (the post Panama) vessels to berth there easily compared to the existing ports. Draught is not too deep while the Ibom Seaport is located at about draught of 8.5, which allows big vessels to come in.
“This port will not be a Nigerian Port because it is in the world map and will guarantee employment for Nigerians, increase revenue for the country and so on.
Therefore, federal agencies have supported it because they know the entire nation stands to gain from its operations,” he said.
On the completion date of the project, he said, “Government is a continuum and I want to thank the governor for believing in Akwa Ibom project by ensuring that he pursues projects that have life changing effect in the lives of our people. The Deep Sea Port does not have a short gestation period. It takes time.
“I am certain, given the way we want to proceed, that the process will be phased and some aspects of the project will be completed in the life of this administration. And it is expected that successive administrations will pull up to ensure that the project is competed,” he said.