Ndifreke P. Akpan (Govt House)
The Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi 11 (CON) and Chairman, Qua Iboe Power Project, QIPP, has acknowledged Akwa Ibom as a very peaceful state and has recommended it as a safe haven for investors into the country.
The Emir who spoke during a courtesy call on Governor Udom Emmanuel in Government House, Uyo, was full of commendation to the Governor for the giant strides his administration has recorded so far in the state.
Alhaji Sanusi said he has followed with keen interest “the tremendous transformation, not just in the infrastructural development but also in terms of peace and security”, that the Governor has brought to bear in the state.
The Emir announced plans by his company, QIPP, to invest $1.1billion in the exploitation of gas in Akwa Ibom State.
Part of the investment, Sanusi said, would be the development of a Gas power plant, acquired from Mobil, that will add 540 megawatts of electricity to the national grid on completion.
Akwa Ibom was chosen for the investments because, according to the Emir, it has gotten all that they needed; “the Gas, the peace and the human capital.”
The Emir further noted that for a country like Nigeria with estimated population of about 190 million and estimated large youth population, now is the time to start building an economy that would cater for the employment needs of the youthful population; noting, “if we don’t get it right now, what we will have in the future will be a child’s play compared to what is happening now.”
Speaking further he asked, “We don’t have money to invest in power, We don’t have money to invest in infrastructure, but we have money to subsidize petroleum products”, stressing for the umpteenth time, “We have to get rid of subsidy.”
In his response, Governor Emmanuel commended the Emir for the visit to the state and more importantly for “stepping out of your emirate to go out there and source for investments”. He said further, “We want to tell the whole world that Akwa Ibom is ready for investments”.
The Governor further commended the traditional ruler for his courage in always speaking his mind on national issues and for doing so in a non-partisan manner.
Governor Emmanuel, who also used the opportunity to update the Emir on some of key projects such as the Ibom Deep Sea Port and the planned International logistics Centre to be located in Ikot Abasi, agreed with the Emir on the need to build a virile economy; noting that democracy can only thrive where there is a fledging economy.
Still stressing the importance and need for Nigeria to build a sound economy, Governor Emmanuel advocated for a national economic chat where like-minds would come together to help chart an economic course for the country.
Looking ahead of the coming 2019 elections, Emmanuel urged politicians to be cautious with their utterances, noting; “Election is an integral part of democracy.
He pledged to look for more areas of collaboration even as he commended the Emir for his unyielding interest in the economic and political development of the country.
The reception for the Emir and his entourage held at the EXCO Chambers of the Governor’s Office and in attendance were members of the State Executive council, and some lawmakers.