The Akwa Ibom Government has said that it will soon begin the construction of Ibaka Deep Seaport in partnership with the Federal Government.
Governor Godswill Akpabio said this at a gala night organised in honour of the visiting United States (US) Consul-General in Nigeria, Mr Jeffrey Hawkins.
The U.S. consul-general was accompanied by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Mr Samuel Ortom.
Akpabio said that the seaport project was a major industrial concern for Akwa Ibom.
The Governor said that the need for continuous partnership between Nigeria and the US in the promotion of trade and investments was imperative.
“We must continue to promote trade and the only way to do so is for us to continue to forge partnership.
“I thank you so far because so many American companies are showing interest in Nigeria and for most of them, the destination is Akwa Ibom State,’’ Akpabio said.
Noting that the time for investment in Akwa Ibom was ripe, the Governor said: “We have done the infrastructure, we have opened access to our state through an international airport.
“This is the only state that government goes a little extra mile to spend money to ensure security for companies operating in the state.
“The Managing Director of ExxonMobil is in a position to confirm the extent of partnership between the oil company and the government and the extent we have gone to ensure that there is peace and cordiality.”
The US Consul-General, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Mr Samuel Ortom, commended the state government for the massive infrastructure development in the state.
Hawkins, who said that Akwa Ibom was host to one of the largest American investments in Nigeria, thanked the state government for giving him a warm reception. “I have been in Nigeria for two years now and I have visited 17 states. I have not seen such hospitality,” he said.
The Ibaka Deep Seaport is a component of the envisaged Ibom Industrial City.
The project’s ground-breaking ceremony took place in 2009 at Mbo Local Government Area of the state.
The Ibom Industrial City is also expected to host oil and gas activities with refineries, petrochemical and fertiliser plants, coupled with manufacturing, packaging, bulk-breaking and small equipment factories