Flag-Off Of The Construction Of Ibom Luxury Estate Commemorating The 34th Anniversary Of Akwa Ibom State
ADDRESS DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE FLAG-OFF OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF IBOM LUXURY ESTATE TO COMMEMORATE THE 34TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CREATION OF AKWA IBOM STATE ON THE 24TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2021
Governor Udom, let me thank you most sincerely for your warm hospitality and your kindness always. I bring you the warm greetings of President Muhammadu Buhari, he sends his personal felicitations and congratulations on the 34th anniversary of this great State.
I was here on the 23rd of Sep 2017 to celebrate your 30th anniversary and again on September 21st, 2019 to celebrate your 32nd anniversary.
On that occasion, after so many visits I was offered full citizenship of Akwa Ibom State. The Governor promised to find me an approach local government from where I would operate but I assume that the Covid-19 pandemic has prevented him from completing that search of an appropriate local government. Today, I will claim my own local government and let you know before I leave Akwa Ibom State.
Nevertheless, it is always a delight to visit Akwa Ibom State, especially because every time one is here, there is a milestone achievement and again today there’s a milestone moment in the State’s history. The tranquility, peace and hospitality which the State is known for, is the envy of many States, and it shows you what can be achieved in our nation when we decide to put in the work that is required.
Since its creation 34 years ago, Akwa Ibom has consistently reinvented itself to remain competitive and attractive for investment and the investment community has responded. It is remarkable what Akwa Ibom has been able to achieve in this period.
Today, we are here to flag off the construction of the Ibom Luxury Estate and the Dakkada Tower as part of activities to mark the 34th Anniversary of Akwa Ibom State.
I am very proud of what my brother, Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State has achieved in his 6 years of stewardship as Governor of Akwa Ibom State. I am particularly impressed with his industrialization agenda.
When I was here in 2019, we commissioned the Kings Flour Mills, Lions Plywood and Timber Factory and the Power Substation. Prior to that, we had commissioned the Syringe and Metering factories. Since then, he has done far more and has even launched an airline – Ibom Air, which has become the gold standard nationally for promptness and efficient service.
Your focus on infrastructure development is significantly in sync with the centrepiece of what the Federal Government wants to do and has been doing. As you are aware, since the inception of our administration, Mr. President has prioritized the development of infrastructure, roads, rail, power, and broadband and despite the severe economic headwinds we have experienced in the past 6 years, we have invested more than any other administration in infrastructure.
As of last year, we had expended over 8.9trillion on capital. Just last month, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the Lagos-Calabar rail project which will pass through Uyo as a major station, and at the end of last year, FEC also approved, with your active involvement and pushing, the full business case for the Ibom deep seaport.
These infrastructural developments are set to establish Akwa Ibom as a major industrial hub, not just for Nigeria, but in the West African sub-region.
This Dakkada Luxury Estate is also strategic; investors from around the world, management staff and other staff, will want to come here and they would also want to have world-class accommodation. They will want a safe environment to raise their families the Ibom Luxury Estate is the answer to that need.
I am told that this estate is designed to meet those expectations and standards. When completed, it will have a police station, power-sub- station, supplementary power by way of a turbine that would do 15megawatts in capacity. There would also be a clinic and health care centre, gas plant, sewage treatment plant, civic centre, church, school, and other amenities.
There is also of course the multiplier economic benefits of housing projects. Housing projects create several direct and indirect jobs and frankly aside from the provision of decent shelter, it really is an important job creator. So, this project will provide several jobs during and post-construction, coupled with property taxation, which will form additional streams of revenue for the State’s coffers. This is why as part of our Economic Sustainability Plan, we have our Mass Social Housing Programme. This is part of our Jobs for Houses Programme run by the Family Homes Fund, where we intend to build 300,000 housing units across the country.
We intend to use local materials, builders, and artisans in every State and 24 States have given land and I am pleased to note that Akwa Ibom State has keyed into this important programme and has already made land available. I think about 650 housing units will be built here and I believe 60 of those have been completed. It is called the Dakkada Affordable Housing Scheme.
Housing is the way to unlock capital for individual and corporate prosperity, but it requires executive and legislative collaboration to ensure its success. I urge the State House of Assembly to continue to work with the Executive to make all land and administrative processes friendly, seamless and swift so that people can obtain their certificate of occupancy and other land documents seamlessly. This will revolutionize the real estate sector and unlock more investment opportunities for Akwa Ibom.
I look forward to coming back here for the grand opening of this estate when it is fully completed.
Before I seat, I want to pray that all of the developments that we have seen in Akwa Ibom would be sustained by the Lord God Almighty, and even as the people of this State are benefiting already, they will continue to benefit from improvements here. Each person in this State will prosper and eat the fruit of this land in the Mighty Name of Jesus.
Even as we go for the flag-off, I hope as we do so, this will be the beginning of several other luxury estates and housing projects.
Thank you very much and God bless you.