By Emmanuel Nicholas
Building a vivacious private sector driven economy with emphasis on oil and gas, which Akwa Ibom is abundantly blessed with, is the ultimate goal of this current administration, though there is also a strong projection on agro-allied economy.
The Government of Governor Udom Emmanuel is ready to play a limited but proactive role in ensuring the State experiences a total rejuvenation in all sectors of economy, but as the major producer of oil and gas in Nigeria, there is need to utilize outsized potentials to boost its economy.
The Government must aim at maintaining a market-oriented and business-friendly environment with soft and hard infrastructures. This will help to attract and develop talents and to boost Akwa Ibom’s role in Nigeria’s economy. This is why Governor Udom Emmanuel is promoting all sectors that will generate higher value for the State economy, including oil and gas, Agro-Allied, financial, logistics, processional, producer services; and tourism and local community economy which will provide more job opportunities for the people.
Governor Udom Emmanuel’s campaign was fastened on industrialization. He said in Uyo, during the campaign kick-off ‘’we will build Industries in all nook and crannies of the State, and the ailing industries will be revived. Ibom Deep Sea Port will be the flagship of the industrialization process.”
Subsequently, Mr Udom Emmanuel had performed groundbreaking for Automobile plant, LED factory, Metering Factory, acquired Land for coconut Refinery, Ground breaking for the fertilizer Plant, site clearing for 100,000 barrel a day Refinery and so many others.
On the revival of the ailing industries, Governor Udom Emmanuel has resuscitated the hitherto distressed Peacock Paint and added another line of production, the marine Paints. Plasto Crown was another moribund industry in Akwa Ibom State , but in less than six months, it is back in full stream. This was brought to fruition by Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Government.
The flagship of his administration projection to boost the economy is the Ibom Sea Port Project. The Deep Sea Port and Gas processing hub with ship fabrication facility will provide more than 100,000 jobs for the teeming unemployed professionals. The port which is deeper than the Lagos Port naturally, will serve the importers and exporters, from the south-East and South South Nigeria , and western Cameroon. The Ibaka deep Sea Port will also provide the gas/crude oil processing companies operating in Mbo, Uruan, Eket, Esit Eket,Ibeno, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas a hitch free lifting of their products to any part of the world, same to the Sea food producers, and manufacturers alike.
The Port accepts larger vessel conveniently, so instead of taking crude oil in bashes to the ship in the middle of the ocean, Nigeria National Petroleum cooperation, NNPC should avail the comfort of loading all their vessels from the Ibaka Deep sea port
The Federal Government has also granted licence to the Akwa Ibom State Government to establish an international jetty at Ikot Abasi local government area of the state to help the downstream sector in haulage and building of Tank farms and floating Station. The Jetty which will sit in 36 acres of land is a free trade Zone with international business district attached. Upon completion it will host to hundreds of high rise office complexes, and hotels. Already more than three multinational firms have shown interest in the building of the Jetty.
Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration is partnering with the private sector to bring about establishment of Refineries. Akwa Ibom State being the highest Crude Oil producer in the Country does not have any refinery nor products depot.
Reviewing the refineries realization stages shows that REV OIL PETROLEUM LIMITED whose refinery has a capacity when completed to produce 50,000 barrels per day is rearing to take off.
The interesting part of this refinery project is that it is seated on an oil bloc. The oil bloc was owned by Shell and later the Federal Government took it over and sold it to the present owners. It is in Oko in Eastern Obolo LGA. There are about 17 oil wells in that region and 15 have been confirmed to be commercially viable. The proximity between where the crude oil is found and the refinery is very short and fabrication of the Refinery is done United State of America, installation in Akwa Ibom State will commence in 2017 mid-year, while the Refinery will commence production December 2018 and Over 5000 direct jobs and over 50,000 indirect jobs will be created
On the RESOURCE PETROLEUM LIMITED, This is a 100,000 BPD refinery that the Government is also promoting. All the licenses have been obtained. The land, 96 hectares, has been cleared at a location between Eket and Ibeno.
A team from the Department of Petroleum Resources is expected soon to inspect the location, so that the final licenses can be issued.
Before the end of 2016, the ground breaking of the refinery will be done. Considering the capacity of the refinery, the president of Nigeria will be in attendance at the ceremony. The Ministry of Lands and Housing is working on the staff quarters.
The conceptual design for the refinery has been approved. The major engineering design and final design has also been approved and the award of contract for the fabrication of the Refinery has been awarded to a German firm and the refinery will hopefully commence production in 2019 and will employ Over 10,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs
The government wishes to ensure that no resources of Akwa Ibom State are lost in any abandoned investment; the State has an equity share in AMAKPE REFINERY.
And the Government is also working on resuscitating the Amakpe Refinery. A couple of meetings between parties have been carried out. It is meant to be the first privately owned oil refinery in Nigeria. Government has inspected the facilities and is satisfied. The design and engineering metrics have been finalized, at the manufacturing facility in Pasadena Texas.
There are debts to settle at Amakpe Refinery. The refinery was built about eight years ago and has been warehoused by the company that fabricated it. 14.9 million dollars is to be paid. This includes the cost of shipment back to Nigeria, clearing and installation by the technical team. The refinery has a capacity of 6,000 barrels per day, expandable to 12,000. And the State has secured an equity investor to actualize this lofty project.
Over 2000 direct Jobs and 5000 indirect jobs and no time has been fix fpr the commencement of production.
The PETROCHEMICAL PLANT is another Refinery plant which will placed Akwa Ibom State on the threshold of becoming Nigeria’s, nay Africa’s industrial hub going by the aggressive approach adopted by the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration to massively industrialize the state in line with his campaign promises.
To actualize his industrial blueprint for the state, Governor Udom Emmanuel has defied the harsh economic realities occasioned by the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market, by investing industrial evolution in partnership with the private investors.
The plant which ground breaking was performed by former President Goodluck Jonathan on August 14, 2014 is one of the fine industries to be established in the state. The construction has been delayed as the promoters needed more land to build their estate for Staffers and the Akwa Ibom State Government has added more land to satisfy their needs and construction has commenced on the site of the Staff Estate.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has commended the initiative of Mr. Jim Ovia, the Chairman of Quantum Petrochemicals Company Limited for establishing a $1.5 billion methanol plant in Ibeno local government area of the state. Governor Udom Emmanuel said: “We want to thank Mr. Ovia, the Chairman of Quantum Petrochemicals Limited for making this huge investment in our state.
When completed, this plant will generate employment opportunity for thousands of our people and help in the industrialization drive of my administration. “Mr. Ovia is a man of impeccable character, who believes in the endless possibilities of this nation to rise to the dreams of our founding father as a prosperous nation with opportunity for growth and advancement open to all who dream and aspire.
We are honoured to have him invest in our state.” Governor Emmanuel also said that the state government had put everything in place for the take-off of the plant. “We have done the environmental impact assessment, the Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) has been issued and site has been cleared and ready for work to start.
Once the gas purchase agreement with Exxon Mobile is finalized, work will commence immediately,” he said. At the ground breaking event, Mr. Ovia who spoke on the effect the plant would have in the state and the nation in general said: “Petrochemicals are vital to our everyday life- the plastic bottles that allow us to drink sanitary water, the clothes that we wear, the fertilizer that are used to grow crops, the tyres on our cars that brought us here today, the shovel that we will use to break the ground today; the pharmaceuticals we take every day to enjoy a healthy life, are all derivatives of the petrochemicals of some form.”
The first Phase of the project will commence production in the last Quarter of 2018. This industry according to promoters will employ over 100,000 skilled and unskilled workers on completion.
The only reason Governor Udom Emmanuel came into power , is that he had perfect clarity on his life’s purpose to govern Akwa Ibom State , the kind of clarity that propels him forward on that mission. Imagine the impact he would have on the lives of the people of State , and the world at large.
Governor Udom knows why is here, while he is emotionally connected to what he is doing, he come alive, he has a goal. He saw his destiny and this gives him the drive and energy to do everything it takes to achieve i his set objectives . Truly Akwa Ibom State will witness mass economic expansion at the completion of these industries.