The Federal Government has pledged to assist a private shipbuilding firm, Norfin Offshore Shipyard, to thrive.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made the pledge on Saturday in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, while inaugurating the Norfin Offshore’s shipyard.
Mr Mustapha, represented by the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Abba, spoke of the readiness of the Federal Government to partner the firm and “provide for as much as it requires to succeed.”
The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, in his remarks, said his administration was out to attract more private investments and provide a conducive environment for investors.
Mr Emmanuel pointed out that the establishment of the shipyard was a “historic endorsement of the industrialisation agenda of his administration.”
The governor urged Akwa Ibom people to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the nation’s maritime, oil and gas industry.
He said the state government was also ready to partner the Norfin group.
He lauded the CEO of Norfin Group, Charles Udonwa, a Singaporean-based shipbuilder, for his decision to build the shipyard in Akwa Ibom State.
Mr Udonwa’s gesture was worthy of emulation, Mr Emmanuel said, while condemning the January 19 attack on the shipyard by suspected militants.
The governor appealed to the host community to see the investment as their asset that must be protected.
He, however, said that the shipyard would benefit the entire country, irrespective of its location.
“Today marks a seed harvest in the entire Gulf of Guinea and we don’t take this for granted. It is worthy of emulation. I hope the host community will behave well.
“My brother Charles (Udonwa), I share your pains in the last attack. Whatever we are going to do as a state government to ameliorate that pain, we will do.
“Locating this facility here is for the benefit of the entire country,” the governor said.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Trade and Investment in the state, Prince Akpabio, said Mr Emmanuel’s administration had been attracting industries that would contribute a high percentage to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Akpabio also said the shipyard would create job opportunities for Akwa Ibom youth.
The President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, Eke George ,described the investment as ”historic” and praised Governor Emmanuel for creating an investment-friendly environment in the state.
The CEO of Norfin Group, Mr Udonwa, thanked the Akwa Ibom State Government for creating an investment-friendly environment in the state.
Mr Udonwa said his firm’s presence would help Akwa Ibom to become a major player in the nation’s oil and gas industry.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Norfin Group, which has begun the building of security patrol vessels to curb militancy in the Nigerian maritime corridors, is partnering the Niger Delta Development Commission and another federal agency for youth training.
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