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Umo Eno: Tinubu has pledged to support Ibom seaport, oil palm programme

Umo Eno, governor of akwa-Ibom state and President Bola Tinubu Umo Eno, governor of akwa-Ibom state and President Bola Tinubu

Umo Eno, governor of Akwa Ibom, says President Bola Tinubu has asked him to submit a memo seeking federal government support for the Ibom deep seaport.

Eno said Tinubu also told him to submit a letter requesting support for the state’s oil palm agricultural programme.

In June 2023, the governor had sought Tinubu’s assistance over two federal government uncompleted projects in the state.

Briefing state house correspondents on Wednesday after meeting with Tinubu at the presidential villa in Abuja, Eno said his purpose of visit to the president was to wish him a happy new year. 

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The governor said he also made the requests because Akwa Ibom, being an oil palm state, has the capacity to produce the commodity for both domestic and international markets.  

The seaport, he said, can serve the Niger Delta region, and has a deep wharf, allowing ships to dock there from across the world.

“We talked and I requested him to support us with our Ibom deep support and agricultural programme on the oil palm,” he said. 

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“The President has graciously granted that I bring the memo to the requests and including MRO (Maintainance Repair and Overall) of course, the President is a businessman, he had to also ask, are we making profits running Ibom Air. 

“Because government has no business in business and  I told him government is completely out of the running of Ibom Air. 

“Ibom Air is making profit and they are ploughing it back for expansion and the airport facility, the second taxi-way is on, we have  the new terminal, we have the MRO and he was pleased to hear that.”

Speaking about the state’s palm oil industry’s support for agriculture, Eno said the sector has been moribund for 28 years.

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For the state to have a full value chain, create jobs for the populace, and assist the nation, Eno said the federal government must fully support Akwa Ibom.

“Akwa Ibom is an oil palm zone. And we have started the process of revamping the moribund industry that has laid there for 28 years,” he said. 

“It is being revamped right now. We need the support of the federal government to be able to have a full value chain and then bring people to work and be able to help Nigeria.” 

He said the state can export palm oil, however, the country is currently importing much of it.

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