By Pat PA Okon
The Akwa Ibom Government is waiting for Federal Government’s approval to commence construction works on the Ibaka Deep Seaport project in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.
Mr Akan Okon, the immediate past Commissioner for Special Duties and Aviation Development, made this known to newsmen in Uyo on Friday.
Okon said construction works would commence at the sites as soon as the state government secures approval from the Federal Government.
He said that the Technical Committee set up by the state government in 2015 to oversee implementation of the project had submitted its report, saying that a preferred bidder had emerged to invest in the seaport business.
According to him, the technical committee which is headed by Mrs Mfon Usoro, has experienced maritime professionals as members.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel on assumption of office in 2015, knowing what could happen if such project is left under the bureaucracy of government, put in place a technical committee for actualisation of Ibom Deep Seaport.
“The technical committee has worked so hard and as at today, we have gotten a preferred bidder which is one of the leading companies in the maritime and cargo industry by name, Bollore And Power Channel.
“The committee’s full report had been made and submitted for actualisation of the seaport and we are only awaiting the approval of Mr President.
“Once that is done, I assure you, construction will begin immediately,’’ Okon said.
The former commissioner commended the state government’s initiative in the airline industry, saying that it would be a major employer of labour in the state.
Okon noted that arrangements had been concluded by the state government to add one more aircraft to its fleet by August.
The former commissioner said the state government’s projection is to ensure that by 2023, at least 10 aircraft would have been in the fleet of the Ibom Airline.