Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has insisted that Akwa Ibom State sitting on 25% of Nigeria’s oil and gas reserve, deserves at least a petroleum depot to regig the state economy and open up job opportunities for the youths.
He has also maintained that Akwa Ibom is strategically positioned in the Gulf of Guinea, and as such airlines should have no reason going to other West African countries to refuel or service their aircrafts if the Federal government partners with the state for its rich natural potentials to be effectively utilized.
Government Emmanuel made the call on Friday, when a delegation the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, led the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, on a courtesy visit on him at Government House, Uyo.
He also advocated that unbundling the oil and gas sector would increase job opportunities and rapid growth of the country’s economy.
The courtesy visit on the Governor was a precursor of a strategic retreat by the egg heads in the management of the country’s petroleum industry, holding in Uyo.
He described the choice of Uyo as significant, explaining that with the developments at the Victor Attah International Airport, the 21 storey smart building, excellent security, good network of roads and other infrastructure, the state has been repositioned for a strategic role as a logistic center of the oil and gas sector.
“The new terminal building we are currently constructing, has the most latest technology and intelligence facilities and when completed, will rank the best seen anywhere in West Africa.”
Harping on the need for partnership for modular refineries, Mr Emmanuel opined that, “modular refineries or petrochemicals should be totally liberated from whatever could be the bottlenecks to create more job opportunities and stimulate a whole lot of economic activities.”
He appealed to the Petroleum Resources management team to look into the vast untapped opportunities in the oil and gas sector with a view to unbundling it for job and wealth creation.
Earlier, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and leader of the delegation, Chief Timipre Sylva had said the chose Akwa Ibom for their retreat because of the peaceful, scenic environments and rich cultural heritage of the people.
Sylva, who described Akwa Ibom as his second home, being an inlaw of the state, commended the Governor and his people for the peace and developments o far recorded.
He said the federal government was committed to revamping the refineries in country and assured that work on the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery would commence very soon.
“Myself and the team went to River State to look at the Port Harcourt refinery, we have promised this country that we will rehabilitate at least one of these refineries within the shortest possible time.
“We visited the Port Harcourt refinery because the programme rehabilitation is about to begin and we hope that work on Port Harcourt refinery will start first quarter next year”, he added.
He expressed appreciation to the Governor and people of the state for the warm reception accorded him and the board members on their arrival in the state.
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