The Akwa Ibom government has unveiled its own airline; Ibom Air with the arrival of two Bombardier aircrafts while others are expected to arrive soon.
Presenting the aircrafts for unveiling at the Victor Attah International Airport, Wednesday, the state governor, Udom Emmanuel gave glory to God for making the day a reality.
Mr Emmanuel noted that the launch was a monumental achievement not only in Nigeria but in Africa stressing that the unveiling of the airline was a fulfillment of his blueprint for the state hence the need for every Akwa Ibom person to be very proud of the state maintaining that the state can achieve a lot together if her people can come together.
He said the state government will not relent in its effort at managing the airport, disclosing that the run way has been upgraded to category two run way, while assuring that the MRO would soon commence maintenance of air lines including Ibom air fleet.
Airlines business according to the governor is not an all comer’s affairs but for those who are tested and proven adding that he has what it takes to be in government even as has come to be adjudged as one of the best.
He said “we want to run the Ibom airline as one of the most efficient, economically viable and profitable that others will come to copy our business modules.
“The air line could run three flights, Lagos to Abuja out of Uyo every day,” he said.
Emmanuel while commenting on his strides on roads construction disclosed that his administration has either rehabilitated, constructed and commissioned, minimum of 100 kilometers of roads.
On water transportation, the governor said “we are not only developing a deep water port, we are also developing a logistic centre in Ikot Abasi that will take care of the downstream.”
In the pipe line also he said is an industrial park that will cover between Ibeno, Mbo, Esit Eket among others with one of the deepest natural drought of deep seaport.
He assured that before the end of his tenure in 2023, Akwa Ibom will launch the deep seaport.
Emmanuel appreciated members of the state house of assembly, Exco and others who contributed to the successful launching of the airline.
Unveiling the air line, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki congratulated Akwa Ibom people for having a leader in the person of Mr Udom Emmnauel whom he said has the interest of his people at heart
“Today we celebrate the audacity s of hope, today we celebrate a man that has a dream for his people, who does not stop until the dream is realized,
‘What he has done shows he is thinking of how to make life better for his people, how to improve governance and provide good leadership.’
He said members of PDP are proud to have Governor Emmanuel as one of them in the PDP family and lauded him for creating opportunities for people to have jobs and for investment.
The country he said needs someone like him who understand job creation, who will make Nigeria better, saying that Atiku in the right choice and urged the electorate to vote for Udom and Atiku.
While congratulating the governor on the unveiling of the airline, the Senate President expressed hope that in the future, the state will be controlling regional aviation in the country, adding that the event signals what the future holds from them in the PDP family.
In his welcome address, the Chairman, Ibom Air, Idongesit Nkanga who went memory lane said Akwa Ibom was the first state to develop and operate an international airport.
Mr Nkanga maintained that with the launching of the Ibom Air, the state has blazed the trail to be the first to own an airline adding, “so will it be with Ibom Deep Seaport”.
The chairman said “I am proud to be a part of this magic moment,” where 15 industries are gotten in three and a half years as well as being the second most attractive destination of direct foreign investment.
He expressed the believe that the second term of the governor will bring better deals for the people of the state.
The technical consultant, Ibom Air, Captain Mfon Udom said Ibom Air was one of the vehicles to drive the economy which Akwa Ibom people will benefit.
Mr Udom announced that another aircraft will join the two before the end of the week while another three will join in August, 2020 and March 2021.
The plan for Ibom Air he said is to be an international airline that will cover the broad spectrum of the day connecting Akwa Ibomite with the rest of the world.
Huge profits according to him, await Akwa Ibom people, noting that up to 3000 people will be engaged in one way or the other.
The gesture by the state government he said is one decision the people of the state need to applaud.