Joe Effiong, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has finally signed a pact with a foreign firm to revive the abandoned Ibom Science Park project started in 2006 by former Governor Victor Attah, but abandoned by subsequent regimes.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resuscitate the moribund multi-billion project was signed by the state government with SERGE Capital Investment yesterday.
Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, who represented Governor Udom Emmanuel on the occasion, said the Ibom Science and Technology Park is receiving priority attention from the state government as science and technology is the underpin of development across the world.
Ekuwem said in reviving the Ibom Science and Technology Park, the state would adopt a bottom up approach to ensure those incubated at the park move up to set up cottage industries in the local communities.
He said the initiative is geared towards enhancing the human empowerment agenda of the state government and promised the investors of government’s cooperation and support in the completion of the project.
Commissioner for Science and Technology, Prof. Nse Essien, described the event as epochal and said the signing of the MoU was a culmination of series of discussions with the investors on the completion of the Ibom Science and Technology Park.
He said Emmanuel is determined to ensure Akwa Ibom State becomes a front line state in science and technology, and assured that the science and technology park, when completed, will open a window of vast opportunities for young scientists and innovators.
President of SERGE Capital Investment Limited, an Australian-based firm with Chinese affiliation, Mr. Greg Todd, said the company would combine resources from Australia, China and the local communities to develop industry, agriculture, infrastructure and trade, under a model that will be world class.
Todd gave the assurance that his outfit is ready to reinvent the operational philosophy of the science park, in conformity with world leading technologies, to ensure sustainable development of economic, environmental and social sectors of the state.
He, alongside the company secretary, Mrs. Sally Conoid, signed the MoU, on behalf of the company, while the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Prof. Nse Essien, the Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment Corporation (AKICORP), Dr. Elijah Akpan, the Chairman of Foreign Direct Investment, Mr. Gabriel Ukpe, and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Eno Offiong, signed on behalf of the state government.