The Akwa Ibom state governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel has urged federal government to sign off on an approval to allow the state government to build and maintain a deep sea port.
He was speaking at the public presentation of a biography in honour of late Clement Isong, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and one-time governor of Old Cross River State, whose face is pictured on the N1,000 note.
He said that if approved, the sea port project would recruit a minimum 5,000 youth during construction, help the economy and decongesting gridlock at the Apapa port in Lagos.
“We have a natural draught of 7.3 metres. All we need is approval. We already have investors who are ready,” Emmanuel said in Abuja. If federal government can help us with the approval, we can go a long way,” Governor Emmanuel said.
He also said that industrialisation was key to getting youth out of unemployment and removing the frustration that millions of jobless young people feel in the country.
The governor noted that Akwa Ibom state aims to become a “hub of services where people can connect to the economy of the rest of the sub-region.”
“The major gateway to industrialize any place on earth is what God has created naturally—air, water, road. Except you fix those three, you are not creating access. Today, Dubai is what it is because Emirates flies to over 100 destinations. Even if you are not going there, you must enter Dubai,” he said.
The governor said that democracy will only stand in Nigerian when the country’s economy is built.
He pointed out that Nigeria needs to focus on building its economy by ensuring education, health and basic facilities are provided for services and job creation.
“I am one of those who believe that if Nigeria doesn’t build the economy , there is no point about we making noise about democracy, democracy in Nigeria will only stand the day we build the economy of this country, so we need people who understand how to build the economy,” he added.
A Former governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Victor Attah, said that Mr Clement Isong was a great motivation to him.
“This is a man who saw us through the civil war without borrowing,” he said, in reference to when Isong became CBN governor in 1967 until 1975.
The widow of Mr. Clement Isong and the Vice Chairman of The Clement Isong Foundation, Mrs. Nne Isong commended everyone that has worked for the success of the foundation.
He governed old Cross River from 1979 to 83, a period during which he was credited with starting the industrialisation of Cross River, between Akwa Ibom was created.
The Clement Isong Foundation, named after him since he died in 2000 was established to advance relevant public discourse, economic research and prison reforms, considering his experience of the prison system during his period of incarceration as a political prisoner, according to Akpan Ekpo, chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees.
The book: “Dr Clement Nyong Isong: Life of integrity, discipline and public service” which was authored by Charles Adesina, showcases the lifestyle and accomplishment of the Isong who died in 2000 at 80-years.
The launch attracted distinguished sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom who extolled the virtues of Late Mr Clement Isong and promised to keep the foundation afloat in his memory