The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon has called on the people of the state to strategically position themselves in readiness for the construction of Ibom Deep Seaport.
Mr Okon said citizens of the state must obtain relevant requirements that would make them proficient for the various positions that would be open for employment.
Akan Okon who was speaking during a Media Hangout with journalists at his Ewet Housing residence in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, stated that just as Ibom Air had absorbed many people, including citizens of other states, the seaport has the potential to engage thousands of labour who must be readily available in the various fields.
“Port development is in the exclusive list. Relevant federal government agencies have given us the necessary cooperation. From the way it is going, I have no doubts in my heart that the Seaport shall soon commence construction.
“There is need for the people of the state to position themselves for the economic renaissance that is soon berthing. It is not enough to develop the state and our people would be completely left out. We must be well prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Like I said during the recruitment process for Ibom Air, we couldn’t see qualified people from Akwa Ibom to take up very sensitive positions, including that of the pilot. We didn’t have the required number from our citizens. We had issues with getting qualified people in the state. So we had to employ people from other places.
“All I’m saying is that Ibom Deep Seaport is coming up soon. There is need for Akwa Ibom people to strategically position themselves and acquire the necessary skills in the sector.
The commissioner explained that out of the 22 checklists the project has to pass through, it has scaled through 20 of them with approvals from relevant government agencies.
Thanking the technical committee for the realization of Ibom Deep Seaport for working hard to take the project to where it is, Akan Okon reiterated Governor Udom Emmanuel’s commitment, as well as those of relevant individuals and agencies towards the actualization of the project.
The commissioner who dispelled rumours that the APC federal government under Muhammadu Buhari was making attempts towards frustrating the project, reasoned that no sincere government could hide under the guise of politics to frustrate a development project that has what it takes to change the economic fortunes of its people.
Recalling three instances where he personally presented cheques to representatives of local communities in the state, the commissioner observed that Governor Emmanuel was making counterpart funding available for the World Bank Assisted Micro-Projects in rural communities of the state, as part of government efforts towards developing the interior parts of the state.
He maintained that there were plans by government to execute long term economic plans to ensure future prosperity in the state, calling on all citizens and residents of the state to join hands in building a prosperous future for the future generation.