The Akwa Ibom State Government has expressed satisfaction with the level of work ongoing at the Car Assembling/Manufacturing Plant located at Ikot Ukap Itam in Itu Local Government Area.
The government also expressed hope that when fully operational, the automobile plant being constructed by MIMSHAC/ Merkavim Transportation Technologies, will create more employment opportunities for Akwa Ibom people.
The state Commissioner of Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon who led a high powered technical team to the site on Friday, disclosed that the facility is expected to resume operations by the end of the year 2021.
“This project was slowed down as a result of the fluctuations in exchange rates, but I am very happy that not withstanding the challenges posed by the economy, the team has been able to come back. All the materials for the factory are on ground. From what the company is telling us, the projection is that by the end of this year, they would have started producing vehicles here. We’re quite happy that this will add to the employment opportunities that are available to Akwa Ibom people and also and also help the Government in terms of IGR”, he said.
Mr Okon lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for the support given the Construction Company and for his relentless efforts in bringing more industrialisation to the state.
“I am very impressed and I want to thank the Governor for all the support he has given MIMSHAC to enable get to this stage. As you can see, they’ll require a dedicated electricity line and that is being provided by the government”, he added.
On his part, the Executive Chairman of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam, who commended the Akwa Ibom State Government for venturing into the automobile industry, called on other state governments to diversify their economies, in order to boost their Internally Generated Revenue.
“I thank the Akwa Ibom State Government for this wonderful initiative. From what I have seen here, I can say that vehicles will start rolling in here within the shortest possible time. I recommend this to every state government. State governments should diversify, because when you diversify, you’d not only increase your internally generated revenue, but you provide opportunities for your people because I am sure that this plant when fully operational, will not employ less than one thousand people”, he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of MIMSHAC Digital Limited, Valentino Okorie, said on completion, the Factory would produce commercial buse, waste disposal trucks, fire fighting trucks and private vehicles.
Okorie who conducted the team round the facility, described the automobile plant as a full package of Israeli technology which will produce stainless, non-rust suitable for Nigerian environmental terrain and roads.
He appreciated the support gotten from the state government and revealed that 20 citizens of the state to be trained in car assembling in Israel, where they would return to train others.
“We are going to produce vehicles that are durable, vehicles that will withstand the rigidity of Nigerian roads. We are building this having in mind of our terrain. We will make sure that local contents are being taken care of. We are taking 20 Akwa Ibomites for training in Israel and when they come back, they will train others”, he said.
Present during the inspection visit where the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Technical Matters and Due Process, Engr. Ufot Ebong, technical partner of Merkavim Transportation Technologies, Mr Gel Golen, amongst others.