Ibom Deepsea Port Host Community Lauds FG, A’Ibom For Selection, Sues for Peace - News at its peak

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Ibom Deepsea Port Host Community Lauds FG, A’Ibom For Selection, Sues for Peace

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Stakeholders and leaders of Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have expressed deep gratitude to the federal and Akwa Ibom State governments for their selection as the host of the multibillion-dollar Deepsea port.

The group in the same vein made passionate appeal to their neighboring Oro nation community to see the choice of Ibeno which was done without any bias as the best decision for the successful hosting of project of that magnitude.

This was contained in a press statement Re: Location Of Ibom Deep Seaport In Ibeno : Official Reaction Of The People Of Ibeno endorsed by HRM Owong (Dr.) Effiong B. Achianga, Paramount Ruler, Ibeno Local Government Area and Former Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers' Council, Obonganwan Eta Ibok President - Mpoho Mbong Atip Ibeno & Vice President, Ibeno Women Forum, Elder Ikoedem h. EkongPresident General Mpoho Ndito Ibeno,Mr. Kingsley a. Asuquo President, Ibeno Youth President Forum among others and made available to journalists in uyo today.

According to the group,” The people of lbeno have largely kept a dignified silence over the unnecessary uproar raised by some persons of Oro extraction of Akwa Ibom State concerning the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to site Ibom Deep Seaport in Ibeno. It was our sincere hope that such uproar and furore would soon give way to reason, especially as the State Government has on several occasions offered explanations why the said Deep Seaport should be located in lbeno.

The group averred,” lbeno wish to thank the Honourable Minister of Transportation and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for making sure that the right thing is done in the overall interest of the people of Akwa Ibom State by siting the Deep Seaport where it would be economically feasible and viable, and also for their sense of maturity so far in the handling of this matter. We wish to reassure you that the choice of Ibeno for the Deep Seaport project is not misplaced. Ibeno Local Government Area is blessed with natural resources and plays host to several oil producing companies which makes it the highest income generating Local Government Area in the State”.

The Ibeno leaders acknowledged that the Local Government Area also lies at a strategic position, bordering directly with the Atlantic Ocean, with immediate access to the sea depth which is a natural requirement for siting of a world class port.

They further explained, “Aware of the huge potential which nature has endowed our people, we are always committed to providing a comfortable, amiable and conducive environment which are a requisite to attract and encourage diverse business interests to our domain. Our resolve to remain the most peaceful oil producing area in the Niger Delta Region is unshakable”.

They noted that Ibeno is one of the largest Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State in terms of landmass, and also has the longest sea band or ocean floor in West Africa, a total of 120 kilometres in all.

“The choice of Ibeno for the purpose of locating the Deep Seaport was borne out of expert studies and purely scientific considerations among which include proximity to the Deep Sea Trade Route, nearness to the natural draught for the project which stands at 17.5 metres natural depth, minimal environmental and social impacts, low research and technical solutions, minimal need for soil improvement, accessibility”.

“The soil analysis conducted by expert firms, including Transaction Advisers, FELAC Concept and Marine and Transport Business Solutions MBTS, of Netherlands, all showed that the port project would not be commercially viable if sited at Ibaka due to its long distance from the sea. Instead, after a rigorous and painstaking scientific process, MTBS had recommended Ibeno as the most suitable location for the project to the Federal Executive Council for approval”.

 Throwing more light on the gas flaring in the area, Ibeno leaders said there are only two flare torches in the hinterland of Ibeno, which of course, is far from the Deep Seaport location and cannot affect the project. “If gas flaring were to be the criteria for siting of such project, then a place like Onne in Rivers State would not have hosted a massive Port given the numerous flare torches docking the entire area and environs”.

According to them,” The Federal Government has designated the area approved for the Deep Seaport project in Ibeno as a Licence Free Trade Zone. The magnitude of that proposal and the benefits thereof places Ibeno at the foreground of the developmental strides that Akwa Ibom State hopes to make in the foreseeable future. In recent time, there has been an upscale in interests to increase the Energy Infrastructure in Ibeno. Siting the Deep Seaport in Ibeno therefore becomes far more beneficial for all concerned as a natural hub for import and export of Petroleum and other Allied Products. Surely, there exists nowhere else better than the choice of Ibeno for the Deep Seaport project.

The press statement also noted the Deep Seaport is only a part of an entire Industrial City. “While the Deep Seaport covers about 2,500 hectares of land, much of the Industrial City covering about 14,000 hectares of land would be located around Mbo Local Government Area forming an entire Industrial Complex. There is no need for the unnecessary contention and selfish clamouring by the Oro Nation over a project whose choice of location was devoid of sentiments”.

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