The first phase of the multi-billion dollars Akwa Ibom Deep Seaport is expected to generate no fewer than 300,000 jobs, Commissioner for Economic Development and Deep-sea Port, Akan Okon has said.
The commissioner who spoke with Vanguard, commended the federal government for approving the business case thereby giving the nod for the commencement of the mouth watering project, with Bollore and Power China Consultants as preferred bidders.
Besides, Okon put the total cost of the project at $4.6 billion while the first phase which would gulp $2.016 billion has been approved by the federal government.
He stated that the project which would be built on private public partnership would not only address the unemployment problem in the state, but would rake huge revenues into the coffers of the federal and state government.
He expressed the desire of the government that the youths were properly trained and engaged so as to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in the new port.
He said, “The port will be constructed in phases and the first phase will have 10 terminals. The procurement process for Ibom Deep-sea adopted an internationally and recognised process which has been adjudged as the best by ICRC and most of our bidders participated electronically via virtual data room.
“Our major problem in Nigeria is unemployment and government alone will not be able to do everything for us.
“I think it’s in the place of every concern Akwa Ibom people to help in training our young men and women in different fields so that they can have the required skills that will give them the advantage to be employed because His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel believes that our young men and women should not beg for a living, instead should be given opportunity to work in order to earn a living.
“Recently, government set modalities for the people to be trained in various skills there are related to the maritime sector and also in the gas and oil industry.
“Our children should be encouraged to embark on relevant courses which will give them advantage in the maritime sector.
“If you look at it critically, the major problem facing the county is unemployment. Ibom Deep-sea Port with Ibom industrial city would employ not fewer than 300000 personnels in its first phase.
“I like to thank His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel for his commitment, contribution towards the actualization of the long anticipated IDSP.
“I want to thank and appreciate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, the Minister of Transportation, the Director of ICRC,the Managing Director of NPA and other federal government agencies involved in Port operations .
“They have shown that Nigeria is a country that when good project with immense benefits for the country is presented, approval will be given because the best interest of the country because the port will increase the revenues for both the federal and state governments.”