*Expresses delight over interest of foreign investors
15 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – Dr. Godswill Akpabio, Governor of Akwa Ibom State has said that the Ibaka Deep Sea Port project in Akwa Ibom state is capable of creating about 70,000 jobs opportunities for the teaming population of unemployed youths in the country when completed.
To this end, the Governor has pleaded that all Nigerians should support the project, which he said will entail convergence of ideas and finances. He added, “wealth creation is all about job creation. We need to take our youths away from all kinds of vices.”
Dr. Akpabio who stated this at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja while speaking with newsmen shortly after he arrived from the investment Summit organized by Ibom indigenes in the United States and Canada under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network, said, said foreign investors have also shown interest to invest in the deep sea port project.
According to him, “the Deep Sea Port is a Nigerian project and neither for state or Local Government. I don’t even see it as a Federal Government Project. For me, any project that is capable of creating about 50-70,000 jobs is a project that all Nigerians should support.
“It is a project that will entail convergence of ideas and finances. Wealth creation is all about job creation. We need to take our youths away from all kinds of vices.
“There were a lot of dividends from the investment summit organized by Ibom indigenes in the United States and Canada under what they called Akwa Ibom Diaspora Network. They did an exposition of the available potentials in investment in Akwa Ibom state.
“I can tell you that for me that will be the first Diaspora group in Nigeria to undertake such a business venture at their own cost. They were able to bring together top executives of various companies spread across the entire world to discuss what they could do in Nigeria.
“For me, I was very happy on seeing the interest the foreign investors still have in Nigeria despite the various problems we have.
“The foreign investors have expressed confidence that the economy under President Goodluck Jonathan would definitely turn around and the fact that despite the seeming security challenges in Nigeria, it is still good for major investments to take place in Nigeria.
“They turned out in thousands and I was also privileged to have the Nigerian Ambassador in Canada, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Chairing the sessions. He gave testimony that there are still great potentials for investment in Nigeria.
“The outside world is still seeing Nigeria as a very veritable haven for major investments. So I want to thank my people in the United States of America, Canada and United Kingdom and we pray that Nigerians in the Diaspora from various states of the federation would see the need to come together and see what they can do to contribute their quota towards job creation and let’s look at it from the angle of Nigeria without oil, with improved power supply and improved agricultural sector particularly in terms of the value chain.
“There in Houston, Texas we also looked at Nigeria from the standpoint of marine investment to catch up with the rest of the world. We were able to showcase the potentials of having another deep Sea Port in Nigeria when we took cognizance of the fact that the Lagos Port is always congested as a result of the number of ships that try to belt there.
“There is also the issue of Ibaka Deep Sea Port for which the Federal Government has seen the need to key into. The Federal Government is asking that if the international community should join hands with Nigeria, it will be another place like the Gulf of Guinea. We had people who have shown interest in fertilizer plant, ethanol plant and even refinery in Nigeria.
“Ibaka Deep Sea Project is one of these veritable opportunities to create jobs and at the same time create a niche in the maritime sector. It will complement the Apapa and Tin Can Island Deep Sea Ports in Lagos. Even in terms of rescue mission, a beautiful Sea Port will enhance both commercial activities and foster the security of the nation. Look at our proximity to Cameroon and all that.
“Sadly the international community is still worried that Nigeria is still one of the countries producing oil and yet importing refined products. So I think the investors who have shown interest in building refineries in Nigeria should be encouraged. I am happy that the international community has confidence in the ability of President Goodluck Jonathan to turn around the economy and that despite the seeming insecurity in the nation; Nigeria would triumph at the end of the day”, he said.