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Commissioner lists factors driving private investors in Akwa Ibom State

The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh has addressed issued bordering on why the state is trailing Lagos in attracting foreign direct investors in the last 20 months.

He said the high level transparency leadership of the governor; Mr. Emmanuel Udom is not unconnected with the investment traffic which is being coordinated to grow economic diversification and job creation in the oil rich state.

Explaining more, Udoh noted that apart from the administration’s transparency policy, “We are building economy roads which will connect all the economic nerve centres of the state”.

“From Agriculture we are trying to apply the basic laws of demand and supply to ensure that we drive down the prices of food stuffs, now if the farmers in those localities were given free seedlings, fertilizers, if those farm produce are ready and there is no access road to evacuate them, they will go bad.

“This is why we are providing the access road to evacuate those products and services to where they can be harnessed and used.

Udoh averred that “We also know that the dream of industrialisation is being impacted by good network. Why do you need an industrial city? Because of the huge cost of creating infrastructure from power to water to everything you need to take advantage of the share services? If you aggregate all these within an area, it means that you can have one power substation that meets everybody’s needs, and one sewage plants serving everyone. It is cheaper to secure in an environment you have all these. With things we have done, it encourages people to know that there are prospects. Beyond that, investors still show interest”.

Continuing, he said “Today, we are building Africa’s biggest syringe factory. That is not Akwa Ibom state project; we attracted investors who brought in finances 100 per cent. The only participation that the state government has is the provision of land free. Therefore, we are telling investors who have viable projects to come because we will provide the enabling environment free with security.

“Few weeks ago, the Commissioner of Police made a statement that from police record; Akwa Ibom State is one of the safest states in Nigeria in terms of crime rate. He also added to the fact that the National Bureau of Statistics recently published a report that Akwa Ibom state is the second state to attract foreign direct investments into Nigeria behind Lagos State.

The Commissioner revealed further that Akwa Ibom has about four to five mega factories that are springing up, saying “The syringe factory is one of them. The Electric Meter Production Company is ongoing now, in another few months that should also be ready for commissioning. Remember that in May, we also inaugurated the Flour Mill and the Coconut Refinery”.

“We also have the toothpicks and pencil industries functioning. Today, we supply two states of the federation pencils. The interesting thing about the pencils we produce is that we are not degrading the environment, we are using old (recycled) newspapers to produce pencils in order reduce production waste.