Port Harcourt — A ship manufacturing and marine services company, Norfin Offshore Shipyard Ltd., has commenced production of ships, in Ikot Ukpong, Oruk Anam LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
The first ship currently under construction at the factory is expected to be ready in December 2020.
CEO of Norfin Offshore Shipyard Ltd, Engr. Charles Udonwa, said his motivation was to support Governor Udom Emmanuel in his mission to create jobs, develop talents and skills as well as contribute to the growth of Akwa Ibom state’s economy.
Udonwa said his vision is to make Nigeria, through Akwa Ibom to become a major player in the ship manufacturing industry.
He said his factory which is still expanding, is expected to churn out Made-in-Nigeria sea vessels for Nigeria’s maritime sector and offshore operations as well as pleasure rides.
“I am here to help establish Nigeria as a ship building country. We are here to create opportunities.
“As we speak, we have over 70 people earning salaries in this place. Nigeria has to establish itself as a ship building country, and that’s what we are doing here.
“So far we’ve sunk $2 Million on the ground, sand filling and stone filling this place. Before we finish here, about $20 million would have been spent developing this place.
He said the stretch of road, Ikot Abasi – Port Harcourt Expressway was within the recently approved Liberty Free Trade Zone and commended Governor Emmanuel for his support to their operations.
“We are here to stay. Other multinational companies are also going to establish along the same stretch. But we need government to help us subdue militancy so that development would come.
“It was Governor Udom Emmanuel who called me in Singapore to come and start the business in the state, before his call came, I had invitations from several other parts of Nigeria but I chose my state.
Also, Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso, Engr. Udonwa for keying into the Governor’s completion agenda programme which he said encapsulates maritime and rural development, and job creation.
Ndueso noted that the Shipyard and other industries which are about to spring up in the 50,000 hectares Liberty Free Trade Zone would open up sustainable business opportunities in Akwa Ibom,.
He also urged the host communities to give the investors the necessary cooperation and support.