Bidding for Ibaka deep seaport project opens this week

Bidding for Ibaka deep seaport project opens this week

Abasifreke Effiong

Bidding for the development of the Ibaka deep seaport will open this week barring any change in plan.

The supervising commissioner for the project, Mr. Akan Okon said last weekend that request for qualification which opened on January 8, 2018 closed midnight of Friday March 16.

“By midnight today (Friday March 16) the window for bid for qualification will be closed and by next week it will be bid opening for all the people that have taken part. After that it will be followed by evaluation by the ministerial project committee”.

He said response to the advertisement on qualification was “very encouraging”.

“It is very encouraging. I can tell you the interest is enormous. But by the time the window closes, we will be able to tell you how many people have submitted.

“As at the beginning of last week, there were over 150 downloads. But I can’t say how many of those downloads will meet the requirement to submit”.

Mr. Okon who dropped the hint when he arrived Akwa Ibom International airport from an engagement outside the country said significant progress has been made towards realising the deep seaport project.

“I can tell you that, we have made significant progress towards the realisation of the port”.

He said with the progress made so far, there was brighter hope that the yearning of Akwa Ibom people to see the seaport project come alive will be met.

The Commissioner said the seaport project was a humongous project that needs huge capital and expertise beyond what the State can solely afford, hence the government is assembling investors across the globe for the purpose of realising the project.

“The seaport is not an Akwa Ibom project. It’s an African project. It’s an international project that will significantly touch the lives of our people once it is functional.

“The project is not like going to build a bungalow. There are lot of processes that are involved. We are following international best practices and due process to ensure that in the end we will have the right calibre of people that will develop the seaport for use by our people”.

Upon assumption of office, Governor Udom Emmanuel inaugurated a technical advisory committee on the Ibaka deep seaport project with a former DG of NIMASA, Mrs. Mfon Usoro as chairperson and the Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, the current SSG as member.

Mr. Akan Okon said the chairperson of the committee and her members have brought their contacts and experiences to work in ensuring that the State gets to where it is on the project.

Earlier this month the Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel told the people of Mbo at an event in Enwang that Ibaka deep seaport is “real”.

Gov. Emmanuel represented by the SSG, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem encouraged youth of the area to acquire skills that will make them employable when the port takes off.

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