By Emmanuel Nicholas
The remaining two years of any politician’s leadership would have been a time to front for personal gains not indulging in projects with capital expenditure, but the reverse is the case with Chief (Dr) Godswill Akpabio,CON. It may come as a surprise to many but not his followers like me because during the 2012 democracy day celebration, Governor Akpabio vowed to finished stronger, today that has manifested in the gigantic projects before him which each impact is of economic value to Akwa Ibom State. The first in that realm is a Seaport which is the anchor project to the State’s industrialization; the Ibaka Deep Sea Port project in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, which the Federal Government had given approval, will cost about $2 billion to achieve and 2015 dateline has been marked for its inauguration. The port industrial components are construction of supply boats for offshore oil operations, fabrication of offshore lifting cranes, maintenance and repair, production of wet christmas trees ,supply of subsea manifolds, construction of oil platform jackets for oil production systems, dry docking for oil installations offshore, FPSO fabrication and Ibaka Liquefied Natural Gas Plant which would process for export the voluminous associated gas from the extensive offshore gas production in the eastern Niger Delta. It is conceived as a viable gas export activity at this deep seaport. The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, few days ago said that the assessments of existing facilities, business opportunities and technical scope of Ibaka Deep Seaport in Akwa Ibom have been concluded.Umar told newsmen in Abuja that other issues so far addressed included the challenges, vision, commercial rationale and operational status of the project.“The second stage which is the outlining of the business and the procurement process report is to be concluded before the end of June,’’ he stressed. The minister said that the progress made so far had resulted in the appointment of a Transaction Adviser for the project. He said the adviser had submitted the Initial Due Diligence Report to the Project’s Steering Committee for the Development of the Seaport, which was inaugurated on Sept. 1, 2012. “The Initial Due Diligence Report is to verify the project’s initial feasibility – from financial, technical and legal perspectives – and to design a structured approach to subsequent phases,’’ he said. According to Umar, the submitted report is in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act. The minister reiterated the ministry’s total commitment to the development of ports’ infrastructure in the country. The Minister made it known that the commencement of the project by Akwa Ibom State /Federal Government of Nigeria in conjunction with the private sector will commence in the last quarter of 2013. The Akwa Ibom State Olympic Stadium under construction will be completed in December this year,Project Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the contractor handling the project, Mr. Chustan Lerche, gave the deadline Lerche, disclosed that the stadium, on completion, would have 36 exits and that the main bowl would be capable of draining out flood water 20 minutes after a heavy downpour. He also disclosed that the main playing pitch would be made of natural grass to conform with international standard, since artificial pitch is not acceptable. Olympic Size stadium is with a sitting capacity of 30,000 and costs 16billion naira. Ibom Tropicana entertainment centre was conceived through the vision of Chief (Dr,) Godswill Akpabio, to impact positively on the Socio-economic lives of the people of the State. The centre which will boost the Structural landscape of the State was created in the image of Sun City of South Africa and the famous Dysney land in Orlando, Florida, USA. The Ibom Tropicana and Entertainment centre is a revenue generating outlet of government which will also create job opportunities for thousands of unemployed youths of the State. The multi-million naira centre which has commenced operation in some sections, sits on a landmass of 82 hectares with the following facilities: shopping mall with 59 standard shops, and 2 Bank service corridors etc. Cineplex which houses 6 screen cinema halls with a seat capacity of 1030, has commenced operation, An Ultra-modern convention centre with a multi-floor capacity of 500, a 15 storey five star hotel with 250 exquisite rooms, a Theme Park with various Dry and Wet Rides/Attractions covering an area of 3 hectares. Two and half years ago Chief Godswill Akpabio had signed a N33 billion contract agreement with Silverbird Showtime Limited for the construction of the Centre. The Cineplex which is in used for about two years now has given job to about 2000 people as movies premiere and musical shows have been setting the place agog with tourists and fun seekers and recently Governor Godswill Akpabio expressed satisfaction with the contractors handling the Theme Park of the Tropicana Entertainment Centre in Uyo, saying the project would be completed in December this year another component which anchors the water park. Akwa Ibom Government and Hilton Worldwide Group have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the management of Uyo Hilton Garden, one of the component of the centre. During the signing ceremony Mr. Cooper said he was delighted to sign the management agreement of the hotel with the state government which would be a model in Africa. Cooper, accompanied by Louis Misford in-charge of Development and Technical Drawings, Mark Martin Volick in-charge of Specification and Arc.Paul Ladiga, Lead Architect of the group, hinted that Hilton Group has 3,999 hotels worldwide with Uyo Hilton Gardens making up 4,000, assuring to keep to the terms of agreement. The building which is undergoing its last phase of beautification and furnishing would also be handed over to Hilton Group not later than the first quarter of next year. The Government of Akwa Ibom State is spending the sum of 12 billion naira to establish a Mega Specialist Hospital in Uyo the State Capital in its effort to stem the trend of seeking medical care abroad by its people as well as other Nigerians. When completed, the Hospital will have a capacity of over 290 beds as well as 60 VIP wards, 6 operation theaters, MRI and CT scan sections, virology laboratory and modular theaters. The feasibility study on the project was done by Germany based medical company, the Rappmannsberger Rehle and Partner (RRP) International Hospital Planners Pte Ltd and some Nigerian consulting companies. The Hospital also has an elaborate staff quarters which is located behind the main Hospital complex for the housing of 60 major international consultants and top management staff. In addition, the hospital is to have a services building for the kitchen, laundry and nursing training institute which is to be incorporated into the structure. When the Hospital becomes operational, more than 70 percent of the take-off staff will be those who have international experience and that they would be backed up by local staff, the project is now at 75 per cent completed Akpabio says “the vision is to have a centre of excellence, a hospital with the most modern facilities in Nigeria; the best equipped in Nigeria. And he would take it a step further and ensure that the hospital partners with one of the leading hospitals around the world in terms of management, because he wants to stop Nigerians from flying to India, to Dubai and to countries in Europe anytime they have medical challenges. So Akwa Ibom State even in terms of medical needs will become a destination for all Nigerians and even for other countries in Africa. Moving towards the goal of sustainability requires fundamental changes in human attitudes and behaviour. Progress in this direction is thus critically dependent on education, infrastructure and public awareness. We must move ahead now, in a spirit of exploration and experimentation and with the broadest possible range of partners, so as to contribute through infrastructure building to correcting trends that could jeopardize our common future. Chief Godswill Akpabio CON has brought uncommon transformation to the people of Akwa Ibom State and Nigerians at large, he vowed to finish stronger and that can been seen in the plethora of projects he is embarking without considering the limited time remaining . When a man’s vision is his mission, there is nothing that will stand between him and the accomplishment of his vision. Governor Akpabio has made his word an order he must obey at all cost from the beginning of his administration till date, that is why the people call him the promise keeper; he has made his vision his mission that is why his success is uncommon today. In the edition which may not be the concluding edition , we will attempt to examine most of the industrial projects on course and those to commission to bear. Akpabio is a man who will stop at nothing except Akwa Ibom State moves from being a pedestrian State to a destination for all. Written by Emmanuel Nicholas . aka White Bom Bom , An Artiste, Author,Poet,Social Critic and President, Foundation Against Tribalism And Social Vices In Nigeria (FATSVIN) tel +234 80 333 750 68,81733 75068, email [email protected], [email protected] , follow me on facebook crackdownnews newspaper or Emmanuel Nicholas Okokon , follow on tweet @crackdownnews /lk

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