Business Hilights
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Comparative advantage forces ExxonMobil to abandon airstrip for Int’l Airport

Checks have revealed that for more than one year, for more than one year now, ExxonMobil aircraft are yet to touch down on the Eket Airstrip, thus frustrating hitherto thriving business and economic activities in the local government in Akwa Ibom State.
Though the airstrip had been tagged Mobil Airstrip due to the company remains the highest user and to some extent, state government officials, the delivery and high functionality of Victor Attah International Airport in the outskirts of Uyo, has attracted and retained the oil major.
However, some of the ExxonMobil staff, who spoke to Business Hilights South South Bureau chief on grounds of anonymity, decried the high level inconveniences they are facing in struggling to access the International Airport when the Airstrip is just nearby but not in use any longer.
Many of them traced the airstrip abandonment to incessant blockage of the access roads by host communities whenever there are issues to settle with the community youths on earnings or other sundry matters.
The community members who had been earning their daily bread from the functionality of the airstrip are now lamenting the nearly one-year abandonment and no signs of the rehabilitation of the runway or the airstrip itself.
However, in an official response, Mr Ogechukwu Udeagha, Manager, Media and Communications ExxonMobil said whereas “Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN) is committed to working with our communities and other relevant stakeholders to agree on the best alternative use of the property,” the decision to use the International Airport is part of our overall efforts to improve our operational efficiency.