Sunday, 22 September 2013

A’Ibom industrialization programme on course, says commissioner

A’Ibom industrialization programme  on course, says commissioner

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Aniekan Umanah says  the industrialization programme of Governor Godswill Akpabio is well  on course.

Fielding questions from reporters on industrialization of the State promised  by Governor Akpabio,Mr Umanah said the Akpabio administration remains committed to  the promise of facilitating the establishment of industries in all the  31 local government areas of the State through a viable public-private  arrangement.

According to the Commissioner, “Governor Akpabio promised partnership  with the private sector to establish at least one cottage industry in  the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom,” adding that, “this is  because governments all over the world do not succeed in solely  establishing and managing industries, no one should expect the  administration of Chief Akpabio to do so. Government is currently playing the role of a partner and an enabler in the drive towards the industrialization programme.

 He stated that the present administration started by providing a solid  foundation for industrialization  by  making  tremendous investments in  the development of physical and social infrastructure, covering roads,  bridges, drainage systems, airport, power, housing, education and  health, among many others. These investments, he emphasized are  preconditions for successful take-off of industrialization.
 A’Ibom industrialization programme  on course, says commissioner

 To facilitate the rapid industrialization of Akwa Ibom after setting  up a strong infrastructural base, Mr. Umanah said the State government established an   and   Corporation and went on to  sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bank of Industry to  enhance the capacity of small and medium scale industries. Under this scheme, the  state government will make available, the sum of N2.5billion, the BOI  will provide additional N2.5billion to make a total of N5billion  available to interested investors of Akwa Ibom origin. This, according  to Mr. Umanah, “will not only develop and improve production capacity,  it will also go a long way to generate employment and alleviate  poverty among the people.”

 Mr. Umanah stated that the new Investment Corporation had long commenced work on the industrailsation programme and has so far concluded the appraisal and evaluation of investment proposals covering 25 industrial projects to be located in different parts of  the State. These projects, he stated, “are awaiting loan financing for  the procurement of equipment and provision of working capital for  early take-off.”

 Apart from producing an Industrial Roadmap to ensure the orderly  implementation of government industrialization programmes, the  Information Commissioner said  the State Corporation was quietly facilitating the  establishment of new industries and reactivating others that stopped  operations many years ago.

 Mr. Umanah listed Greenwell Technologies , a US-based company  registered in Nigeria, as being in a joint venture with the state  government under the public-private-partnership arrangement, to  manufacture Water Purification Chemicals, fertilizer, Animal Feeds and  undertake Poultry Processing. The first phase of the project, he said, “is being financed by Ecobank.” Others include Pioneer Agro Industries,is a firm involved in the processing of cassava tubers into high-grade industrial starch for local and export  markets, to which the state government has leased 500 hectares of land  in four locations to ensure the commencement of the factory.

 Another effort of the State government towards effective and  sustainable industrialization of Akwa Ibom, according to the  Information Commissioner includes, the approval of four hectares of  land in Ikot Abasi to Ontario Energy. The company, he explained, would  establish a 250mw Power Plant. Coupled with the State government’s  investment in 4-Power Consortium Limited, he stressed that Akwa Ibom   would become very sufficient in power for both domestic and commercial  us, thereby boosting the industrialization drive of the  administration of Chief Godswill Akpabio.

Hinting that Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited has indicated interest  to acquire Qua Steel and establish a welding and fabrication yard for  skills  training required in the oil and gas industry, Mr. Umanah said  AKICORP has identified a credible investor that is willing to purchase

 Peacock Paints factory AS IS. The implication of this, in his  explanation means, “the investor will inject sufficient funds into the  company to pay off existing liabilities, upgrade existing equipment  and fund working capital.”
 The Commissioner further explained that the Ibom Industrial City project ,incorporating a Deep sea Port,  Refinery ,Fertilizer plant and other production concerns was an  “an ambitious project of the Akpabio administration which falls in line with  his industrialization plan for the State.” The project, expected to  commence in the first quarter of 2014, according to the Commissioner, would be completed and opened for port operations at the end of 2015,  thereby promoting commerce and generating employment for the people. 

 The Seaport, he said, “presents investment opportunities for both  local and foreign investors
 To underscore the fact that the present administration is leaving no  stone unturned in its resolve to industrialize the State’s economy and  attract foreign direct investment, the Information boss, equally  said that “investors from Turkey have expressed interest to  establish a multi-products company for the manufacture of  Refrigerators, TV sets, Deep Freezers and other household appliances.”

 Mr. Umanah submitted that establishing industries “is a process that takes some gestation period and is quite different from executing  contracts or other quick fix business ventures” ,and  commended the State Investment Corporation for doing a good job of driving the   industrialization  process and called on Akwa Ibom entrepreneurs to take advantage of the robust industrailisation  programme of  The Akpabio administration  in the spirit of public-private-partnership to  engender a sustainable private sector driven and an industrial economy in Akwa Ibom.”

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