By Tanko Mohammed
The Government of Akwa Ibom says the approval of $4.6 billion by the Federal Government to build Ibom Deep Seaport (IDSP) will create jobs for over 300,000 teeming youths in the state.
Mr Akan Okon, the Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, said this while speaking with newsmen in Uyo.
The Federal Government had at the Federal Executive Council meeting, on Dec 16, granted final approval for the take-off of Ibom Deep Seaport Project in Akwa Ibom.
Okon said that the first phase of Ibom Deep Seaport would help address unemployment in the state, as no fewer than 300,000 youths would be actively engaged through the project.
According to him, the creation of jobs is part of modalities set by the state government to eradicate the alarming rate of unemployment in the state.
He said that the approval of the long anticipated IDSP would help in the implementation of the state government programmes and policies to alleviate poverty and create job opportunities for her citizens.
“Akwa Ibom is industrialised because this project, when operational will solve and arrest critical problems in the state most especially the issue of unemployment and then stimulate our state economy accordingly.
“The total cost of construction of the Ibom Deep Seaport is 4.6 billion dollars but the first phase of it is 2.016 billion dollars which was approved on Wednesday Dec. 16 by the Federal Government.
“The structure of Ibom Deep Seaport is billed for 60/40 per cent that is, 60 per cent for the private sector and 40 per cent will go to the public sector,” he said.
Okon thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President, Minister of Transportation, and other stakeholders, who have in one way or the other contributed positively in making the project a success.
“They have shown that Nigeria is a country that when good projects with immense benefits for the country is presented, approval will be given for the best interest of the country
“Because the port will increase the revenues of both the Federal Government and Akwa Ibom,” he stated.
Okon reiterated the state government commitment to train the indigenes in Maritime and Oil and Gas related skills to place them in a position of advantage for employment.
“Recently, government has set up modalities for people to be trained on various skills that is related to the Maritime sector and also in the Oil and Gas industry.
“Our children should be encouraged to embark on relevant courses which will give them advantage in the Maritime sector.’’