Akwa Ibom State government has urged host communities of  Ibom Deep Seaport to cooperate for the smooth  take-off as the interests of the area were accommodated  in the scheme of things
Chairman, Technical Committee for Ibom Deep Seaport Barr Mfon Usoro told a stakeholder’s Engagement weekend that the host Communities should weigh the option of the benefits of the project against antagonistic tendencies that could discourage foreign investors.
Usoro briefed the stakeholders on the components of the Seaport Design to include 10 terminals, Marine Service Centre, Industrial City and other facilities that could make the project attractive to neighbouring countries such as Gabon, Central African Republic (CAR), Equatorial Guinea as well as other coastal counties in West African region.
She disabused the minds of the host communities’ leaders by stating that Ibom Deep Sea Port was a Federal Government project as all the processes emanating from the Technical Committee were approved by the federal government and captured under Exclusive List.
” Everything we do under this project is approved by the federal government as the project spans through 14,800 square meters of the dry land on Oron seashore away from the Atlantic Ocean. The Federal Executive Council gave approval on 16, December 2020.”
” The procurement process of Ibom Deep Sea Port has been adjudged to be the best and adopted by federal government.” She explained.
Secretary to the State Government Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem lamented the animosity within the host communities as a result of the name and location of the project adding that such matters should not arise at the early stage of the project.
Ekuwem explained that the name change from “Ibaka Deep Sea Port” to Ibom Deep Sea Port ” was done in good faith to reflect the rebranding of state-owned projects and institutions as obtained in other state government facilities in the state.
The SSG listed such projects and institutions such as “Ibom Air”, “Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osura”, “Akwa Ibom State University -AKSU”, “Ibom Hotels And Golf Resort” saying that rebranding government institutions and projects were in order.
Ekuwem emphasized that he can not be part of such politics to short changed his people being a bona fide son of Oro community and the site of the Deep Sea Port in particular and encouraged youths of the host communities to prepare for opportunities that would be provided by Seaport through businesses and employment.
” Why the name of Ibaka Deep Sea Port was changed to Ibom Deep Sea  Port was to build a brand name for state-owned institutions. Therefore, the nomenclature of the port was a nonissue. I have explained this to Oro people in 17 fora where stakeholders met to brainstorm on this name.
” The social media should desist from blackmail and cross-check facts to have  balanced information for the public instead of falsehood and propaganda about the name and location of Ibom Deep Sea Port.” He said
Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Project Mr Akan  Okon said over 300,000 jobs would be provided by the Ports to Akwa Ibom youths and urged the host communities to focus on positive impacts while planning to be relevant at the port than showing negative attitudes.

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