…As AKSG partners BPA, Korean Maritime University for technical, manpower development for Ibom Deep Seaport
…geophysical, geotechnical studies to begin next week – Akan Okon
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has assured Akwa Ibom people that the Ibom Deep Seaport project whem operational will transform the State into a transhipment city that will provide thousands of direct jobs to citizens.
The Governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, said while Busan Port Authority, BPA, operators of the world’s second largest and busiest port in South Korea, has agreed to provide the technical support towards the construction of Ibom Deep Seaport, the Korean Maritime and Ocean University have also agreed to partner the Akwa Ibom State Government in manpower development so as to train the pool of manpower that will be needed for the Ibom Deep Seaport project.
Briefing newsmen at the Victor Attah International Airport shortly after his arrival from an official visit to South Korea on Friday, Mr Akan Okon noted with delight that the Akwa Ibom State Government’s presentation on Ibom Deep Seaport and Ibom Industrial City to the Management of Busan Port Authority (BPA), at the Maritime Sector and Harbor Development programme in South Korea, has yielded positive results of which its impact will soon transform the political economy of Akwa Ibom State.
He noted that the partnership with the BPA team was in keeping with Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision of establishing a good relationship with Busan Port Authority and tap from their wealth of experience of international best practices in Port construction and management.
According to Mr Okon, BPA is a state- owned company under the Korean Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries lunched in January 2004 for the development, operation and management of Busan Port which is the Gate way of North East Asia, and a major transhipment route to China, Japan and Russia.
“This project is going to be a game changer for Akwa Ibom State economy. That is why His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel approved us to be part of the Maritime Sector and Harbour Development programme in Singapore. This trip gave us an opportunity to interact with people in the maritime sector especially Busan Port. Busan Port is the second largest and busiest port in the world. It is a transhipment port with a 17 meters depth which is similar to what we have in Ibom Deep Seaport”.
“This trip also gave us the opportunity to interact with the Korean Maritime and Ocean University with a view to developing manpower for our citizens so that we would be able to take advantage of the opportunities that would be created in the maritime sector as a result of this project and we are looking at areas like maritime logistics and other businesses that is associated with the shipping industry”, he stated.
The Commissioner noted that the Akwa Ibom State delegation during the visit made a presentation and the investors are interested because of what they have found out from the potentials of the Ibom Deep Seaport project and mostly because the proposed port is similar to what they have in North Korea which is a port with a water depth of 17m- 18m.
Mr Okon stated that with the kind of vision Governor Udom Emmanuel has for Ibom Deep Seaport which is to make Akwa Ibom a transhipment port for the African continent, Akwa Ibom is in for an industrial revolution that will propel the state and her citizens to greatness, global competitiveness and economic prosperity.
“We also had the opportunity to meet with the Korean Cooperation for Overseas Port Development. We are looking at having a partnership with them so that they can also assist in the development of our Deep Seaport. Basan Port is developing three port presently in Netherlands, Indonesia and Spain so we met with them so that they can key into Ibom Deep Seaport and they are quite interested”.
“The collaboration between the Akwa Ibom State Government and Basan Port Authority which is the main investor is moving ahead and by next week we are going to kickstart the geophysical and geotechnical studies. Once Ibom Deep Seaport becomes operational, it will change the life of Akwa Ibom people for good”, he declared.