- The Ibom Deep Seaport will be a reality soon as the promoters say they are putting final touches on all arrangements
- Attempts by some persons to discredit the project has been dismissed as false and grossly misleading
- Mrs Mfon Usoro, the face of the project, says the claims made by one of the indigenes of the state should be ignored
Uyo - The chairperson, Akwa Ibom state government technical committee on Ibom Deep Seaport and Ibom Industrial City, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, has faulted the position of one Chief Edet Nkpubre on the controversy surrounding the project in the state.
Usoro described Mkpubre's position on the project as false and grossly misleading.
She said the claim that the seaport has been relocated from Ibaka amounts to disinformation as the facts on the ground reveal that at no time was Ibom Deep Sea Port located at Ibaka.
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“Approval for the location and construction of a deep seaport is constitutionally the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government of Nigeria. There is not in existence a document that indicates the federal government located the deep seaport in Ibaka at any time.”
“In May 2015, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the Outline Business Case (OBC) and Commencement of Procurement Phase of Ibom Deep Seaport.
“The OBC was presented at FEC by the then minister of transportation upon recommendation by the Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee (MPDSC).
“The MPDSC chaired by the ministry of transportation comprises of several relevant federal government agencies including the project proponent, Akwa Ibom state.”
Mrs Usoro explained further that the MPDSC approved the OBC submitted to it by the consultants were engaged by the Administration of Godswill Akpabio who is credited with having obtained the FEC approval for the OBC in 2015.
“The OBC expressly recommended the current seaside location of the port project and the current name of the port to the FEC for approval. MTBS is a reputable international maritime consultancy company.
“It subjected the 5 locations (Oron, Tom Shot, Okposo, West Point, and Seaside) proposed for the location of the Ibom Deepsea Port to a rigorous scientific process which recommended the Seaside as the most suitable location for the port.
“Oron, Tom Shot, Okposo - Ibaka, West Point are located from the Cross River estuary towards the inland river while the recommended and approved location abuts the sea. The seaside location is referenced by Engr Nkpubre as Ibeno in his interview.
“Other than the studies by the MBTS and previously by Worley Parsons, there is no record of studies commissioned by the Akwa Ibom state government to identify and compare the suitability of possible locations for the deepsea port. None of the aforementioned scored Ibaka as the preferred location.”
Ibom Deep Seaport: Akwa Ibom government set up joint committee
Recall that a Joint Project Implementation Committee was set up recently by both the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) and the Akwa Ibom state government.
In April, Governor Udom Emmanuel approved the setting up of the committee to ensure the smooth take-off of the multi-billion dollar project.
Mrs. Usoro had also assured the government and the NPA that all steps towards the actualization of the project was on track.