Akwa Ibom is targeting $3 billion fresh investments from its Free Trade Zone(FTZ) which it described as the largest in the country.
The latest job creation initiative was disclosed by, the Chairman, Technical Committee on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), Gabriel Ukpeh, at the recently concluded German-Nigerian Business Forum held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos.
In his presentation titled: ‘Akwa Ibom and Investment opportunities, Ukpeh, harped on the renewed promise and attributes that Akwa Ibom state holds for potential investors through its various initiatives.
The forum which was organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHK Nigeria) in collaboration with the Nigerian–German Chamber of Commerce (NGCC) and the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein), was aimed at exploring opportunities between both countries as well as chart a way forward in a post pandemic era.
“The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, came from the private sector, hence, bringing a private sector perspective to bare on governance in the State, restructuring the way business of governance is done in Nigeria.
Akwa Ibom state stands out when compared to other States in Nigeria for obvious reasons and it has been affirmed by many Nigerians, including the Nigerian Police Force, as one of the most peaceful states in Nigeria, the security architecture is at par with those found elsewhere in the world,” Ukpeh said.
He also added that Akwa Ibom has the largest oil and gas reserve in the country, saying there are lot of oil and gas reserves potential for investors to tap into whether in the area of petrochemical plants, methanol plant, thermal power plant, gas processing and other possibilities among others.
In terms of infrastructural development, he said the Ibom Deep Sea Port with 17m depth and set to be the best in Nigeria, is in top gear and by March 2022, construction at the site is expected to commence, and would facilitate shipment and trade to other African countries.
Behind the Deep Sea Port is the 14,000 Ibom Industrial City Free Trade Zone which, he said, has started attracting investors.
‘‘The largest Free Trade Zone in the country is the 50,000 hectares of Liberty Free Trade Zone located in Akwa Ibom, which houses a $1.4b ammonia plant as well as a methanol plant, refinery, petrochemical plant, fertilizer plant, methanol plant and others.
This offers incentives such as tax free haven for investors, import zero duties, free container, among others”.