The Akwa Ibom State Government has concluded plans for the takeoff of the Coconut Refinery Project with the signing of a Partnership Agreement with a South African firm, H.J Oil Food Consulting Limited. Governor Udom Emmanuel, who played host to the South African investors at the Government House, Uyo, said that the signing of the agreement is the turn key to the industrialization drive of the state government and a first step for the birth of an oil processing plant in Akwa Ibom State.
The Refinery, according to the Governor, would produce both palm kernel and coconut oil. This, he added, is in line with his administration’s policy of wealth creation, employment generation and sustainable development. He said the event marks a significant step in the utilization of abundant natural resources in the state and that the product would be exported into the international market to attract more revenue and boost the economy of the state.
He announced that fifteen thousand special breed coconut seedlings is to be air-freighted into the country within two weeks and that the technical team is expected to commence the management of the Nursery and planting of the seedlings which he said, yields within three years. The state Chief Executive thanked the South African firm for partnering with the state in its industrial revolution assuring that the site for the plantation and construction of the refinery have been cleared for a groundbreaking scheduled for December. Earlier, the Commissioner for Investment, Industry and Commerce, Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem, described as significant, the benefit derived from the state’s investment in the coconut refinery project, noting that the project would showcase the state in the global map as the producer of coconut oil.
He expressed appreciation to the Governor for his sincerity and decision to rewrite the economic history of Akwa Ibom. The Director of H.J. Oil Food Consulting Limited, Mr. Johan Hendrick Swart, who spoke on behalf of the investors, said that the project would put the country in the map of coconut oil production and pledged to work for the actualization of the project.
Highpoint of the event was the signing of the agreement by Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Uwemedimoh Nwoko and Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem, who signed for the state while Mr. Johan Swart signed on behalf of the company.