Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, on Monday inaugurated the $45 million International market (Urua Nka) in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
Emmanuel, at the inauguration of the project in Eket, said that the market was one of its campaign promises made in 2015 to the people of the area.
“These are some of my campaign promises when I came on board in 2015, to build an international market and attract foreign investment to the state.
Emmanuel, represented by Mr Gabriel Ukpe, Special Adviser to the Governor on Foreign Direct Investment, said the market would be built on Public Private Partnership (PPP), investment.
The governor promised to create enabling environment for project to thrive in the state.
“Out of the 52 countries in Africa, they came to Nigeria; out of the 36 state in Nigeria, they came to Akwa Ibom; out of the 31 local governments in Akwa Ibom, they settled in Eket,” Emmanuel said.
He assured the people that before the expiration of his tenure in 2023, Eket would become the` little London’ in Akwa Ibom.
“This is just the first investment that will come to Eket, a lot more projects will be done in Eket Senatorial Districts,” he said
The Governor reassured that he would commission the first phase of the project in the next six months.
He said that project when completed would benefit the community and provide employment opportunities to the people of Eket.
Emmanuel thanked Yiwu international Trade City of Nigeria and its partners for having faith in the government and people of the state.
In his remarks, Mr Miao Jingbao, Managing Director of Yiwu International Trade City of Nigeria, said the project consists of first phase and second phases.
He explained that the first phase of the project would be completed in the next six months.
“The project when completed, it will be number one in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria,” Jingbao said.
He said that the company would continue to collaborate with the state government to bring more projects to the state.
Jingbao said the investment would gulp 45 million U. S. dollars, adding that the first phase of the project would have 3,000 shops.
“The building will have ground floor, first floor and second floor.”
He said that the project when completed would provide employment opportunities for 10,000 youths and women in the area.
He said the community would benefit from the project and would improve the living standard of the people in the area.
He explained that the company had already completed two projects in Eket, namely timber and the temporary markets site in the area.
Also speaking, Mr Lawrence Jokotola, the facilitator of the project, expressed appreciation to the people of Eket in particular and Akwa Ibom at large for giving them the project.
“We believe this project is a great promotion for local employment and economic development and solicited for cooperation of the people of Eket,” he said.
He said that the project would be delivered on time with high quality standard.
Earlier, Mr David Lawrence, the member representing Eket in the State House of Assembly, thanked the Chairman of Eket LG, Mr Frank Archibong for being supportive of the project.
He said that the project would “change the commission narrative and economic power of the Eket people.”
He assured that the investors are competent and would deliver the project as anticipated.