By James Edet
The drive by Governor Udom Emmanuel to showcase the investment opportunities in Akwa Ibom State to the international community and attract foreign investment to the fast growing state, in line with his industrialization agenda, received a major boost on Monday, June 6, 2021, as the state’s exhibition booth became the centre of attraction at the ongoing Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, tagged NIPS 2021, holding in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The fourth edition of the Summit, which draws participants from top government functionaries and other policy makers from the federal and state levels, International Oil Companies (IOCs), exhibitors from various manufacturers and other industry players in the oil and gas sectors from America, Europe, Asia, as well as other countries of Africa, seeks to draw new narratives for the post COVID-19 era.
Addressing newsmen at the State’s exhibition stand, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Power and Petroleum Development, Dr. John James Etim, who is the head of the state’s delegation to the summit, while noting that the State was participating in the global oil and gas summit for the first time, commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for blazing the trail in showcasing the investment opportunities of the state at the global converge.
Underscoring the benefits that Akwa Ibom State will garner from the summit, the Commissioner said “A lot of people and companies that did not know what is going on in the state in terms of her huge opportunities in the oil and gas sector and the general developments in the state will now come to terms with these’.
He added that “already so many companies from Egypt, India, China, Europe and other parts of the world, upon visiting our exhibition stand have expressed their willingness to come and invest in Akwa Ibom.”
The Power and Petroleum Development boss, while commending the State Governor, Governor Emmanuel for creating enabling environment for foreign investments to thrive in the state, stated that Akwa Ibom State, being one of the most peaceful and hospitable states in the country is now a prized destination of choice for business and leisure in the Nigeria.
Among the items on display at the Akwa Ibom State exhibition stand is a Television Documentary titled “Akwa Ibom State: A Business Destination of Choice”, Magazines and other publications of the State’s Ministry of Information and Strategy as well as compendium of oil and gas industry players and other related materials.
Other members of the Akwa Ibom State delegation at the summit include the Director of Petroleum in the Ministry of Power and Petroleum Development, Engineer Emmanuel Inyang; and the Director of Information in the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Akparawa James Edet.
Earlier, while declaring NIPS 2021 opened at the Conference Hall of the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, President Muhammadu Buhari described the large hydrocarbon deposits in Nigeria as huge blessings that should be urgently harnessed, saying the country cannot turn its back on its many benefits.
President Buhari who was represented at the event by the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, emphasized that the principal aftermath expected of the converge should be the master plan and new perspectives for the future of the hydrocarbon in the country.
“We cannot turn our back yet on more exploration. The discovery of new fields is crucial and we need to address short term opportunities using technology that can extend the life of the fields”, the President said.
Examining the theme of NIPS 2021, “From Crises to Opportunities”, President Buhari noted that it was apt, considering that governments across the world are now zeroing in on tracing and managing the crises caused by COVID-19 to their economies, with a view to energy transitioning.
In their separate remarks, the Senate President, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila assured of the 9th National Assembly’s support in ensuring an effective and efficient management of the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy, especially through the passage the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
The 4th Nigeria International Petroleum Summit which commenced on Monday June 6 and scheduled to end on Friday June 10, 2021, has as its theme “From Crises to Opportunities”.
It is expected that NIPS 2021 will leverage on the successes of the previous three editions of the Summit and provide for a definitive platform, not just for Nigeria but also for Africa to engage the global energy community