Akwa Ibom: Governor Eno meets Tinubu on palm oil exports

The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Umo Eno, has enlisted the support of President Bola Tinubu for the resuscitation of the 28-year-old moribund oil palm project in the state.

The governor said that with the support of the federal government, revamping the palm oil industry would have a full value chain for the economy as the country would start exporting palm oil.

After his meeting with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State spoke with State House correspondents.

He disclosed that in addition to seeking support for the revival of the oil palm project, he was also asking for government support for the Ibom Deep Seaport.

Explaining this, the governor noted that the seaport has the deepest wharf capable of accommodating ships, catering to the business interests of the South East, South-South region and the entire Niger Delta region.

Governor Eno expressed enthusiasm over the profitability of Ibom Air, stressing that the revenues will be reinvested in the expansion of facilities at both the taxiway and the terminal of the state airport.

When asked specifically about the purpose of his visit to the President, he said: “The purpose of my visit to the President is to wish him a Happy New Year and also make a request.

“You know, when governors come to see the president, this is the seat of government; you have one or two things to talk about.

“So, wishing the President a Happy New Year was of utmost importance to us, and we pray that God will keep him in good health and continue to give him the strength to continue his work as President-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to make. .

“After that we also have a request. We spoke and asked him to support us with our deep sea port and oil palm farming program in Ibom. Akwa Ibom is an oil palm zone. And we have begun the process of renewing the dying industry that has been there for 28 years.

“It is currently being renovated. We need the support of the Federal Government to be able to achieve a full value chain, put people to work and help Nigeria.

“We can even start exporting palm oil, because we are still importing a lot of it at the moment. That's why I came, and it was a good visit.”

Regarding the President's response to his requests, he said: “The President has graciously allowed me to convey the memo to the requests, including MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul).

“Of course the president is a businessman; he also had to ask: are we making a profit from running Ibom Air? because the government doesn't do business. I told him that the government is completely beyond the control of Ibom Air.

“Ibom Air is making a profit, and they are plowing it back for expansion. The airport facility and the second taxiway are enabled. We have the new terminal, we have the MRO, and he was happy to hear that.

“We obviously have to work with the federal government to get work going in the state. Akwa Ibom is part of Nigeria.

“He is the President of Nigeria, he must know how one of its constituent states is doing. However, I only came for a normal briefing.”

When asked about the importance of the Ibom Deep Seaport to the Nigerian economy, especially given the presence of other operational ports, Governor Eno emphasized the clear advantage of the seaport.

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He said, “Again, Lagos is here. But you also know that Lagos is busy. That is of course not a story. So you need a deep-sea port that takes care of the southeast, the south-south, if you like, the Niger Delta.”

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