Global oil giant, ExxonMobil, is one of the international investors eyeing investment opportunities in the proposed Akwa Ibom State government owned Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone in Ikot Abasi, an official said.
The special adviser to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on technical matters, Ufot Ebong, said ExxonMobil, which has its operational base in Akwa Ibom, already sent in a request for a dedicated oil and gas terminal in the proposed free zone pending when it would become operational.
Mr. Ebong did not give further details or specifics on ExxonMobil’s requests.
On cases of property owners within the area acquired by government for the free zone, he assured that all concerns would be addressed either through integration into the project or relocation from the project site.
He said the Akwa Ibom State government was working with a consortium of consultants led by PricewaterhouseCoopers to mobilise investments into the proposed free zone.
Mr. Ebong, an engineer, was speaking in Uyo during a review meeting between the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone Joint Implementation Committee and the managing director of Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority, OGFZA, Okon Umana, who was on a working visit to the area.
Reviewing the progress of work so far on the proposed free zone, Mr. Umana, after receiving a briefing from the implementation committee, said he was impressed not only by the level of promotion by the state government, but also at the pace and level of mobilisation to attract investors to the project.
He also commended the state government for its efforts to build and secure a licence for the project.
During the review meeting, the chairman of the implementation committee, Gabriel Ukpe, who is also the special adviser to state governor on foreign direct investment, gave timelines for meeting key paperwork requirements on the project.
Mr. Ukpe, who gave insight to important engineering and technical works either already concluded or scheduled to be done, said a preliminary aerial survey and a temporary access road to the 50,000-hectare site have been completed.
He said the dredging of the sea that would serve the shipping needs of the project was awaiting full consultation with the host communities across Akwa Ibom and the neighbouring states since the impact of dredging cuts across state boundaries.
The committee chairman announced May 2, 2017 as deadline for concluding all paperwork required for the licensing of the free zone, while the site inspection of the proposed free zone area by OGFZA, the licensing authority, was scheduled for the third week of April.
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