Why Akwa Ibom’s proposed coconut refinery failed to start — Govt

The Akwa Ibom State government has given reasons why its proposed coconut refinery failed to commence production two years after the scheduled date.

Ephraim Inyang, Chief of Staff to Gov Udom Emmanuel, blamed the non-arrival of expatriates from India since 2020 for the non-take off of the 66-tonne coconut refinery in Mkpat Enin Local Government of the state, attributing that to COVID-19.

”Government had programmed the coconut refinery to be inaugurated in 2019 but COVID-19 delayed the arrival of Indians who are to install the equipment,” he said.

Mr Inyang said the state government was committed to the speedy take off of the coconut refinery, adding that the proposed Ibom Deep Seaport has the capacity to transform and sustain the state even without revenue from oil.

Mr Inyang, who stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Uyo on Monday, said the governor has laid a solid foundation for industrialisation in the state and was expected to complete many projects before the end of the administration.

According to him, the governor has a strong desire to take the state from being a civil service state to one with a viable economy.

He said the state government had built industries that had “transformed the economy of the state from a dependent to a viable economy”.

READ ALSO: How Nigeria spends billions on coconut importation

”The governor is attracting investors to establish industries and diversify the economy to give the state a viable economy,” he said.

“The governor came with a strong desire to take the state away from being a civil service state to one with a viable economy.

“The governor has been able to revitilise the economy more than what all his predecessors were able to do since the state was created,” he said.

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