This Day (Lagos)

6 November 2011

Nigeria: 'Akwa Ibom'll Drive Niger Delta Economy'

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State has said his government would harness the state's locational advantages in the maritime and aviation sectors to boost up the economy of the Niger Delta. Akpabio said this at the weekend in Abuja on arrival from an overseas trip.

He said his tour had afforded him a wider knowledge and capacity to explore the abundant resources of the state for the good of the people.

A statement by Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor, Anietie Ekong, quoted Akpabio as saying, "I was privileged to accompany the president to Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. We had series of interactions, not only with Australia but with the global community.

"For my state in particular, we had series of meetings starting from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. We met with Emirates Group and we had very fruitful meetings. They have agreed to come down to Akwa Ibom State to explore the potentials in various areas of investment particularly in the aviation industry.

"We are looking at providing a hub for the Gulf of Guinea in aviation in Nigeria. We are also looking at exploring investment opportunities at the international deep sea port at Ibaka, which will complement the sea port in Lagos and which we are developing in collaboration with the federal government. This will jump start the economy of the Niger Delta and create jobs for our youths."

He disclosed that in the next one week a delegation of experts from the state would be sent to follow up on the various discussions he had with investors during his foreign trip.

Akpabio, who was welcomed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by the state deputy governor, Obong Nsima Ekere, also expressed appreciation to the country for honouring him with the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) award.

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