An Uyo based strategic communications/marketing expert and managing director of Legacy Tourism Development Services Ltd, Uyo, Mr. Usen Udoh has described the Akwa Ibom State governor, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno’s call on the federal government intervene in the development of the Ibom Deep Seaport and to obtain an export license, including a free zone for the Victor Attah International Airport, as worthy of commendation.
Speaking with newsmen in Uyo against the backdrop of Pastor Umo Eno’s maiden visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, Mr Udoh reiterated that the facilities in question will multiply economic and commercial activities in specific areas apart from the huge revenue they will generate for the state government.
While expressing his confidence in the new administration under Pastor Umo Eno to spring surprises in human capacity building, tourism and hospitality, aviation, and infrastructural development, Mr. Udoh maintained that Pastor Umo Eno possesses the imaginative and practical capacity to deliver services that will actually improve the lives of the people at the grassroots, given his empathy for the downtrodden
He added that the governor who understands the plight of the people is ready to implement sustainable development goals for the benefit of the people of Akwa Ibom State, pointing out that his appeal to the federal government to intervene in the development of major infrastructures in the state during his maiden visit to the President speaks volumes of the governor’s mindset towards the rapid socio-economic development of the state.
Mr. Udoh, who is the chairman of Akwa Ibom State Tourism and Hospitality Practitioners Association (AKTHOPA), noted that the intervention of the federal government in the development of the blue economy and aviation corridors of the state will open the windows of employment, investments and job opportunities for the citizenry.
Describing Pastor Umo Eno as a pragmatic and compassionate leader, the pioneer chairman of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Akwa Ibom, said the state was fast becoming the aviation hub in West Africa, informing that Akwa Ibom State has shown capacity in the areas of good road network, tourism, hospitality, aviation and general infrastructural development, such as the recently commissioned maintenance, repairs and overhauling facility at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo.
According to Mr. Udoh, for the governor to pointedly seek the quick intervention of the federal government on his maiden visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa Abuja, speaks volumes of the commitment of Pastor Umo Eno to the socio-cultural and infrastructural development of the state, saying that the state is fast becoming the aviation hub in the Gulf of Guinea.
“The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility and the longest taxiway in the nation, both of which were commissioned by the immediate past governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel at the Victor Attah International Airport Uyo are true foreign exchange earners for the state,” Mr. Udoh maintained.
Pastor Umu Eno, who spoke with State House Correspondents on Thursday said: “There are lots of things we expect from the federal government and it’s only with cooperation that we can work together and achieve the common good, whatever I know I can do to bring the dividends of democracy to my people, I will do it.
“Of course, we talked about the road you have just mentioned, the Calabar-Itu road. We will need the president to help us intervene, and let’s get that finished. We talked about our Ibom Deep Seaport, and we will need the president to intervene and let’s get the Seaport.
“I also mentioned to him (Mr. President) the export license, the free zone for our airport, so that the maintenance, repairs, and overhauling facility there, we will be able to bring in spare parts to service the aeroplanes. These are strategic partnerships that we want with the federal government. So, I talked about it, and he has promised to look into it, and I believe him.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), my deputy governor distributed some palliatives to all the local governments. As I go back, I’m scheduled to have a meeting with all the petroleum marketers in Akwa Ibom. Whatever we need to do as the President has directed, state governors, of course, should work on palliatives for the citizenry.
“There are a number of things… and as we get into early next week, if you focus on Akwa Ibom, you will see various things we are going to put in place to support our people and shield them from the effects of the subsidy removal.
A deepwater port is a fixed or floating man-made structure, or a group of structures, other than a vessel, located beyond State seaward boundaries and used or intended for use as a port or terminal for the transportation, storage, and further handling of oil or natural gas for transportation to or from any State.
Rrcall that Ibom Deep Seaport is located at Ibaka in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.