Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has appealed for the federal government’s assistance in revitalizing the state’s dormant oil palm industry. Following a meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday, Governor Eno shared his plans to revive the sector, which has remained inactive for nearly three decades, as part of efforts to diversify the state’s economy.
Expressing the need for federal support, Governor Eno outlined his strategy to resuscitate the oil palm industry, emphasizing the potential to reduce the country’s annual expenditure of over $500 million on palm oil imports.
“We also have a request. We’ve talked and requested him to support us with our Ibom Deep Sea Port and agricultural program on oil palm. Akwa Ibom is an oil palm zone,” stated Governor Eno. “And we have started the process of revamping the moribund industry that has laid there for 28 years. 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.”
Highlighting the state’s ambition to export palm oil, Governor Eno emphasized the significance of federal assistance in achieving a complete value chain for the industry.
During the meeting, the governor also discussed the importance of federal support for the Ibom Deep Seaport project, which aims to alleviate congestion at existing ports and cater to the South-South region. The proposed seaport is expected to have the deepest wharf in the country, facilitating the docking of large ships.
Other key projects presented for federal consideration included the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Victor Attah International Airport and the expansion of Ibom Air operations. Governor Eno assured President Tinubu that Ibom Air was a profitable venture, reinvesting its earnings for further growth.
President Tinubu directed that a detailed memo outlining the requests be submitted to his office. Governor Eno described the meeting as a routine briefing, providing an update on Akwa Ibom State’s status within Nigeria.