The plans to set up a petrochemical and gas company, Quantum Petrochemicals, in Akwa Ibom State by the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, has been described as a giant stride that will reduce the level of unemployment and bring about a better life in the state and beyond.
Speaking with journalists on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Governor Udom Emmanuel-led government at the Uyo Township Stadium, on Monday, the Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Integrity Group, Mr. Robert Okon Jim, commended the promoters, saying it would help in the current industrialisation policy of the state government.
Okon who was full of praises for Ovia, said the $1.5 billion initiative, which ground-breaking ceremony was carried out in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, would not only engender the industrial development plan of the state, but create employment and alleviate poverty in the state.
His words: â€œOvia is passionately dedicated to poverty alleviation through investments in life-touching enterprises and we want to thank him for that. He is a man of impeccable character and a corporate titan.
â€œThe people of Akwa Ibom State see this investment as representing our hopes and dream and we want to sincerely thank Ovia for his faith and belief in our state and our people,â€ Okon added.
The Akwa Ibom State Integrity Group, also commended Emmanuel, stressing that he has â€œdone exceedingly well in all aspects of his campaign promises which was predicated on five-point agenda of Wealth Creation, Economic and Political Inclusion, Poverty Alleviation, Infrastructural Consolidation and Expansion and Job Creation.â€
According to Okon, the governor has been able to achieve all the goals in spite of the paucity of funds.
â€œWe are particularly pleased with his industrialisation programme, which includes the Jubilee syringes making- factory which, when it goes into operations, will be the largest of such manufacturing firms in the whole of Africa; the metre manufacturing company and the toothpick and pencil making factory, among other companies that will soon spring up in the state.â€
Already, the ground appears to have been prepared for the take-off of the project as the state government has, among other things, carried out the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), issued a Certificate of Occupancy (C-of-O) to the company as well as cleared and prepared the site for commencement of work.
According to government source, these steps were taken by the government to enable the quick setting up of the company.
Speaking at the ground-breaking about three years ago, former President Goodluck Jonathan underscored the importance of the company, saying it would impact generally on the lives of the people of the country.
â€œThe Federal Government of Nigeria lends its support wholeheartedly to ensuring the success of the project. I would like to encourage Ovia and his board not to relent in their efforts to support the growth of entrepreneurship in the Nigerian economy,â€ the former president said.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Quantum Petrochemical, Ovia, gave the assurance that the company would encourage some local industries to grow upon completion.
â€œThe importance of developing capacity within the petrochemicals industry should not be underestimated. Petrochemicals provide the foundation for manufacturing industries; for example, construction, packaging, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, textiles, etc.â€
The plant, when completed, would generate employment opportunities for thousands of people and help in the industrialisation drive of the current administration.