BY Emmanuel Nicholas
Akwa Ibom is a state in Nigeria named after God . It is located in the coastal South-Southern part of the country, lying between latitudes 4°321 and 5°331 North, and longitudes 7°251 and 8°251 East. The State is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the South by the Atlantic Ocean and the southern-most tip of Cross River State.
Akwa Ibom is one of Nigeria’s 36 states with a population of over 5 million people and more than 10 million people in diaspora. It was created in 1987 from the former Cross River State and is currently the highest oil and gas producing state in the country. The state’s capital is Uyo with over 1,200,000 inhabitants . Akwa Ibom has an airport (Akwa Ibom International Airport) and two major sea ports on the Atlantic Ocean with a proposed construction of a world class seaport-Ibaka Seaport at Oron.
Infrastructure is widely acknowledged to be critical for economic success, and infrastructure investments are promoted as leading to economic growth, either at the local or national level. Yet, investments in telecommunications, transportation, energy, or other infrastructure do always yield the hoped for public benefit. Among the projective visions to realize this purpose are: Ibom Power Plant, to produce enough energy to the industries, factories, and all business concerns. Without adequate power supply no economy can have rapid growth, so with IPP the State will have 24 hours power supply to energize the manufacturing machines. This informs why Governor Akpabio pursued the completion of the project with unrestrained vigour. Another one is Akwa Ibom International Airport and MRO for over hauling of Aircrafts, as the first in Africa. This will bring all carriers in Africa and other continents to the State for Turn Around Maintenance, TAM of their Aircrafts and also create convenient freighting of cargo and personnel coming into the State.
Ibaka Deep Sea Port and Gas processing hub with ship fabrication facility will provide more than 100,000 jobs for the teeming unemployed professionals, the port which is deeper than the Lagos Port naturally will serve the importers and exporters from the south-East and South South Nigeria as well as the western Cameroon. The Ibaka deep Sea Port will also provide the gas/crude oil processing companies operating in Mbo, Uruan, Eket, Esit Eket,Ibeno, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas a hitch free lifting of their products to any part of the world, same to the Sea food producers, and manufacturers alike . The Port accepts larger vessels conveniently, so, instead of taking crude oil in bashes to the ship in the middle of the ocean, Nigeria National Petroleum cooperation, NNPC should avail itself of the comfort of loading all its vessels from the Ibaka Deep sea port
Good Road network which is the number one infrastructure in consideration while building a vibrant economy is responsible for 87 percent of goods to be freighted and protects automobile from unnecessary break down. This is the reason Akwa Ibom has the lowest, accident rate in the state as it currently stands at 0.5, because of her good roads network which is rated as the best in the country. Free and compulsory -qualitative Education is another step to generate enough professional man power within a targeted period from the coming economic boom, and eradicate illiteracy which could lead to idleness which in turn leads to crime. Olympic size Stadium will provide adequate sporting facilities to train our budding sporting talents and also host international sporting events which will yield more revenue for the State and Nigeria.
The e-Library is an institution that presents a comfortable atmosphere for students, scholars and researchers alike. When the resultant products from such researches are produced into the market it will boost the local economy and also attract foreign market and investment to the State; this will also alleviate the burden students in the Area of purchasing text books. Tropicana entertainment Centre will attract tourists around the world and also provide enabling environment for more talented musician, comedians, actors and dancers to be discovered and exposed to wider audience to widen their scope.
Already so many movies have been premiered there and the entertainment centre will also provide more than 50,000 jobs at its full completion. Chief Godswill Akpabio in his stride to leaving the state in a more solid economic footing has vowed to establish one cottage industry per a local government Area in the state. This venture will turn around the fortunes of the State, transforming it from the present civil service status to an industrial state. With the coming industrial revolution joblessness will be a thing of the past and the State economy will become vibrant , yielding more revenue for the government while the living standard of the citizenry will be improved. While doing this, the Government of Chief Godswill Akpabio must take into consideration the maintenance of our traditional institution and its strengths including the rule of law and a level playing field, with clean and efficient government that allows for free flow of Information, as well as maintain low and simple taxes and good order.
Minerals in the environment and products manufactured from mineral materials are all around us and we use and encounter them every day. They impact onour way of life and the health of all that live. Minerals are critical to the State’s economy and knowing where future mineral resources will come from is important for sustaining the state’s economy and national security. Akwa ibom state is blessed with numerous mineral resources. In every Local government there is large deposit of these natural gifts from God, and to develop the state economy, making it an industrialized haven. In Esit Eket,Mbo,Etim Ekpo ,Eastern Obolo , and Oron local government Areas we have silica sand which is used in the production of glass and abrasive products.
Ibiono Ibom ,Oron,Uruan, Nsit Ibom ,Essien Udim ,Abak ,Ikono and Ini Local Government Areas have in large quantity gravel for construction, glass industry.
Ini local Government Area has in large quantity Limestone estimated at more than 1000 trillion tons which could last for over 200 hundred years, and it is used for the production of Cement, Hydrated limes, and precipated CaCO3.In Esit Eket,Mbo,Etim Ekpo ,Eastern Obolo , and Oron local government Areas we have silica sand which is used in the production of glass and abrasive products. Ibiono Ibom ,Oron,Uruan, Nsit Ibom ,Essien Udim ,Abak ,Ikono and Ini Local Government Areas have in large quantity gravel for construction, glass industry.
Ini local Government Area has in large quantity Limestone estimated at more than 1000 trillion tons which could last for over 200 hundred years, and it is used for the production of Cement, Hydrated limes, among others. Itu, Ibiono, Ikot Abasi, Eket,Onna ,Etinan ,Nsit Ubium ,Ini and Uyo Local government Areas have Clay in large quantity. By quantity surveying carried out by scientists hired by the Akwa Ibom State Government, the ratio of Clay in the State can last over a hundred years, and clay has the scientific energy of growing back in seconds after a tap. This is used for the production of pottery, Ceramics and Cement. Uyo, Uruan, Nsit Ibom Local Government Areas have in great quantity Sodium Chloride used for the manufacturing of soda Ash, Table Salt, and Caustic Soda .
Nsit Ibom and Ini Local government are blessed with Coal and Utile in a massive quantity that can be sustained over a century in production of fuel, Aromatic, Compound wax and Resins. Silver Nitrate is in large quantity in Uruan Local Government Area, and it is used for the production of Industrial Chemical. Mbo and Ukanafun have plethora quantity of Natural Gas. By scientific survey, it will last for over two thousand years This Natural Gas has a compound energy which serves as a spring board furs. Today in Nigeria Akwa Ibom State is the highest Oil producing State with massive deposit of Crude oil at both onshore and offshore. Eight local Government of the State have this mineral resources: Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno, Uruan, Eastern Obolo, Onna and Mbo Local Government Areas. The quantity of Crude Oil in Akwa Ibom could last for over ten thousand years as confirmed by seismic reading. It is used for the production of uncountable products, fuel, and chemicals among others.
Akwa Ibom State is not only blessed with Natural resources alone, the state is blessed with diverse Agricultural resources. Oil Palm is found all over the State and used for the production of cooking Oil , margarine, soaps, cosmetics, livestock’s Feed and other by products are made from the fibre of the Palm tree, like Glass , Helmet, and gloves. The State also has a massive Cassava plantation which is planted all over the state. Cassava is used for the production of Food, modified starch, Alcohol, particle Board, live stock feeds and fuel for generation of energy. Yam, a tuber plant is also planted in large quantity in Obot Akara , Ikot Ekpene, Essien Udim, Abak , Etim Ekpo, Ika and Oruk Anam Local Government Areas. It is used for the production of starch and flour. Cocoyam is one farm produce which is planted all over the State. It is used for the production of food, starch, and flour.
Water yam is found in Oruk Anam, Okobo, Oron, Udung Uko , Urue offong –Oruko. It is also used for direct food process, and in the production of Starch and flour. Maize is planted all over the State; it is used for the production of Corn Syrup, Malt, and Food for Animal, Particle Boards, Alcohol, Glucose and Flour. Rice is also grown in large quantity in Ibiono Ibom, Ini and Ikono Local government Areas. Rice is used for the direct production of food, Malt, Particle Board and fermented Rice products. Citrus fruits are also in large quantity in Nsit Atai, Etinan, Mkpat Enin, Essien Udim and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas. This is used in the production of fruit Juice, Citric Acid, Essential Oil and Animal feed. Wood which is one of Agro resources found everywhere in Akwa Ibom State is in large quantity in Ikono, Ini, Eket, Okobo, Oron, Uruan, Uquo Ibeno and Ikot Abasi local Government Areas.
It is used for the production of Paper, Pulp, fuel, Alcohol and Cellulose.
Rubber is largely planted in Uruan, Itu, Uyo and Oruk Anam Local Government Areas, though it grows across the State, the mentioned Region has it in commercial quantity. The plant is used for the production of rubber products. Rubber is as important as oil and resins as there is no mechanical part that does not have a rubber attachment. Raffia Palm is seen in Akwa Ibom in Uruan, Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene ,Itu and Mbo Local government Areas. The palm has a direct bye product of Palm wine. It is also used for the production of Alcohol, Cellulose, mart and carpet.
Coconut is seen in large quantity across the State. It is used in the production of cosmetics, cooking Oil, chips, Animal feed, Rattan and fibre. Cocoa which is used for the production of Beverages, Cosmetics, chocolate and wine are planted in Ikono and Ini local Government Areas, though other parts also farm the crop. Those two regions have it in commercial quantity. The two local governments also have Kola nut in large quantity. This is used for the production of Dye and for soft drinks.
Plantain and Banana are planted across the state. It is used for production of food, animal feed, pharmaceutical products. Likewise, sugar cane which is planted in large quantity in Nsit Ubuim Local government Area is used in the production of Sugar, alcohol and glucose. As livestock also bred across the state is used for meat, production of leather products, Adhesives and Gelatin
Sea food is in large quantity in Uruan, Oron, Mbo, Ibeno, Eket, Ikot Abasi and Itu Local Government Areas. This is used for the production of food, Animal Feed, and Pharmaceutical products. Diverse vegetables are also imbedded in large tons in the State and used for food, Hydro zed Vegetable, pharmaceuticals, proteins and Enzymes
Recently there has been an upbeat in crude oil exploration across the onshore of the State. By the indices of the exploration more three thousand potential oil well have been discovered in commercial quantity. Akwa Ibom state being the highest oil and gas State in the gulf of guinea is still a virgin land when it comes to the deposit of crude oil and gas. Oil can do more, crude oil is the most important raw material of the industrialized nations. It can generate heat, drive machinery and fuel vehicles and airplanes. Its components are used to manufacture almost all chemical products, such as plastics, detergents, paints, and even medicines. As it is such an important resource it is very important to expand our technical ability to discover new sources and extend the production lives of existing oil fields.
Life without oil? Impossible! Within our daily lives oil is used almost everywhere: Every year, 18 million tonnes of crude oil are processed into synthetic materials in Germany. Oil within our materials: 40 percent of all textiles contain oil; for functional clothing this may be as much as 100 percent. Oil within our leisure activities: 40 billion liters of oil a year are used to make CDs and DVDs. Oil helps us relax: A single sofa contains 60 liters of oil. Modern life is inconceivable without crude oil. The world consumes almost 14 billion liters of oil each day. This affects us all.
With a free export zone, tourist and business resorts like the Obudu Cattle Ranch, Qua Falls, Kanyan and Cross River National Park. Abia State with its cultural, military and colonial history museums, Rivers State with its Oil fields and by the fact Akwa Ibom State is located in the Niger Delta with its old slave ports, and at a day's distance journey, makes Akwa Ibom a virgin Tourist haven for prospective investors. The tourism industry in Akwa Ibom State promises an unlimited investment potential. The state has rich tourist sites that are eagerly awaiting investors to cash-in. The state boasts of road network that criss-crosses the entire landscape of the state and also boasts of a vibrant State Tourism Board that is providing the enabling environment for investors. This is evident in the recent completion of the largest resort at the Nwaniba river which boasts of the largest golf course in Africa and a five Star Ibom Resort Hotel being managed by global player in the hotel industry.
In spite of these giant strides, there is need for more of such resorts to take advantage of the bustling tourist interest in the ‘land of Fulfilment.
With resort-type beaches such as the Ibeno Beach, Qua River water-side, the water front area of the Oron River adjacent to the Museum with its humid and temperate climate, the ancient trading beach at Okopedi, Itu; the tropical oil palm scenery of the Ibagwa river valley, the Ibaka fishing settlement site, James Town, Uta Ewa fishing settlement, Ibaka beach, Obuabu Blue River and the Consular beach at Ikot Abasi are all resorts waiting to be fully developed and exploited.
Beside these scintillating resort sites, the State’s historical sites demand urgent development. Such sites include; the oil Palm produce ware-houses and the UAC Company agents residence; the Mary Slessor Cairn site on top of the Okoyong hill, there is the ancient tree grove at Afaha Offiong in Nsit Ibom; the Slave trading ware houses at Ikot Abasi, Itu, the building where the amalgamation treaty was signed by Lord Frederick Lugard in 1914 at Ikot Abasi, the old Presbyterian Church at Itu built under the supervision of Mary Slessor; the Itu hill walk-way that also has the first telephone line and Post office, among others. The amazing mixture of traditionalism and modernity provides an awakening, a window to another virile and colourful glimpse of African humanity and its cultural and natural environment.
As an Ibibio myth says,” challenging demands and rewarding opportunities await those who dare to reach out for the priceless jewel on the python’s head”. This aptly describes what Akwa Ibom presents to an Investor. Governor Godswill Akpabio initiated the Ibom Tropicana Project not only to bring a new lease of live to the people, but also to open the state to the world. The most significant attribute of the centre is the economic value it will add to the life of the Akwa Ibom people viz-a-viz the creation of over 5,000 jobs for its citizens, thus drastically reducing unemployment and also keeping thousands of people off the streets as well as create room for investors to relax off their duty , as they can also invest in various department of the projects .The complex is located in the capital, Uyo. On completion, the Tropicana would have a 16-storey building with a 250-bedroom five-star hotel, a galleria with cinema already in use , a 10,000 sitting dome as well as a theme and water parks.
However, this infrastructural development, does not only promote tourism activities but also generates employment and revenue to better the lives of thecitizens of the state. And at present, with the level of work ongoing at the site no fewer than 1,000 indigenes of Akwa Ibom are engaged in one opening or the other. The natural sandy coastal lines at Esuk Udoe in Uruan local government provides a good serene environment for beach developers and holiday resort investors , as the place can serve as one of the most comfortable centres for holiday makers and newly married couple who are on honey moon as they go on boat rove in an oceanic view river , play on the natural glass sand , experience sea wave at a glance, swimming in white water and also go on site seeing of birds and animals at the mangrove forest .
Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio is very passionate about curbing crime rates in the state as the State remains the most peaceful State in Nigeria with crime rate of 0.5 . To maintain it successfully, the governor has brought governance closer to the people by constructing one security village each in all the 31 local government areas of the state. The security villages house all the principal officers of the local governments, the divisional police officers, DPOs, the divisional crime officers, DCOs, and other heads of security agencies in the local government areas. Built in the form of an estate, the security villages provide all the necessary facilities needed to make life comfortable, provides gunboats to maintain security in Akwa Ibom waterways, purchase Armoured personnel carriers to contend crisis situations in the state.
A joint security task force (Operation MESA) codenamed "Thunder" has been formed and equipped with modern weapons and 90 Hilux patrol vehicles to be used in pre-emptive operations against violent crimes. The police force has also been supplied with patrol vehicles to reinforce its efforts at stemming crime. In the rural communities steps are being taken to aggressively mobilize traditional rulers to take charge of the security of their domains. With Akpabio putting in place all the basic infrastructures for development and nature presenting the land with abundant deposit of treasures , Akwa Ibom is therefore the best centre for investors who wish to make rapid incomes from their investment and have centuries of sustainable raw materials for their business concerns.
WRITTEN BY EMMANUEL NICHOLAS . AKA WHITE BOM BOM , AN ARTISTE, AUTHOR,POET,SOCIAL CRITICS AND PRESIDENT FOUNDATION AGAINST TRIBALISM AND SOCIAL VICES IN NIGERIA , (FATSVIN) TEL +234 80 333 750 68,81733 75068, EMAIL WHITEBOMBOM@YAHOO.COM, EDITOR@CRACKDOWNNEWS.COM , FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK CRACKDOWNNEWS NEWSPAPER OR EMMANUEL NICHOLAS OKOKON , FOLLOW ON TWEET @CRACKDOWNNEWS