Akwa Ibom government on Friday said it had acquired 14, 900 hectares of land for the take-off of Ibaka Deep Seaport in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.
The state governor, Godswill Akpabio, made this known in Uyo when the chairman of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Senator Ken Nnamani, visited him.
Akpabio said that the development of the seaport would be done through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), and therefore solicited the involvement of ICRC in the project.
“We have worked really hard to fast-track the emergence of Ibaka Deep Seaport, which has a free trade zone. We have also received a license from the Federal Government for the commencement of the project.
“The Ibaka Deep Seaport would change the matrix of the unemployed in the country; it will attract investors to the state,” he said.
He restated that his administration was committed to building a sustainable economy through infrastructure development in the state.
Akpabio thanked the chairman of ICRC and his team for the presentation made on the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport. He said that their visit had rekindled the hope that the seaport project would be realised through PPP.
He also called on the commission to partner the state government on the construction of dual-carriage way on Uyo-Aba Road, saying that the road would have a toll gate as approved by the Federal Government.
Sen. Nnamani said that the team was in the state to “share current issues in the commission with the state government.”
Nnamani, who is a former President of the Senate, commended Akpabio for promoting the concept of uncommon transformation of the state through infrastructural development.
He noted that the state had had infrastructural development and that the next phase was industrialization. He also said that the governor had laid foundation for investment in the state and assured that the commission would encourage him to do more.
In his presentation, Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Executive Director, Public Private Partnership, ICRC, said that the visit was to discuss how to sustain the infrastructure development in the state.
Izuwah said that the projects executed by Akpabio’s administration needed a framework to be developed for them for sustainability. He assured that ICRC would partner the state government on the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport.
The seaport, according to him, comprised a terminal for containers and cargoes, free trade zone and industrial city. Izuwah said that the seaport was a project for the state, country and the world and that PPP was the appropriate choice for the maintenance of projects in the state.