By: Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, has said that the state’s aviation firm Ibom Air is set to commence international flight for passengers and cargo by 2022.
Governor Emmanuel said this at a bilateral discussion between him and the High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria, Mr. Wendell Vincent Carlton De Landro.
Mr. Wendell De Landro and Governor Emmanuel at the meeting expressed readiness to collaborate in the development of aviation, Tourism, agriculture, and industrial estate to boost its economy.
Governor Emmanuel who appreciated the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’s interest in the state’s budding aviation industry and other areas of economic ventures pointed out that his administration has repositioned the state for such collaborations in view of the recorded strides in industrialization and other gateways of development.
He disclosed that his administration is working out modalities with multinational companies towards kick-starting the state industrial park, especially with the planned commencement of a Seaport and International flights operations.
“We are working on a lot of things that will involve a lot of countries. It will be a very good synergy.
“We are thinking of establishing about thirty to thirty-five industries in a cluster but the post-COVID-19 challenges may pose a problem, even at that we may have about fifteen industries depending on the outcome of our next meetings.
“I’m going to start in January. We’ve cleared the site, we’ve made provision for 24 hours electricity and water is not a problem”, the Governor explained.
Governor Emmanuel told the visiting envoy that the state is on the verge of hosting the smartest airport terminal building in the continent, adding that the state airline, Ibom Air will commence international flights for passengers and cargo early 2022.
“We are going to have the smartest airport terminal building in the whole of Africa and that is under construction. We are going to commission the terminal building by December next year and once we commission it, we are going to start full international flights of Ibom Air by the first quarter of 2022”, he assured.
Earlier, The High Commissioner, Mr. Wendell De Landro, commended the state vision of floating and sustaining the Ibom Air, emphasising that his home government has interest to collaborate with the state in the area of direct flights operations between Nigeria and his country through the state-owned airline and to further discussions for establishing an industrial estate in Akwa Ibom.
De Landro spoke of Trinidad and Tobago as a small twin-island in the Caribbean with a lot of people engaging in various professions, observing that the state was fast transforming into an industrial hub, with rich agricultural resources that form the state’s staple food.
The Diplomat expressed the intention of his home government to use the state aviation channel to establish a trade line between Akwa Ibom and Nigeria.
The highpoint of the visit was the presentation of Souvenir by Governor Udom Emmanuel to the visiting envoy; Mr. Wendell De Landro.