…says Udom has no plans to bring puppet as his successor
After several years of abandonment, plans are underway for the completion of the five star Ibom Tropicana Hotel, a section of the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre.
Although commissioned by former Governor Godswill Akpabio on May 22, 2015, the Tropicana Entertainment Centre, a modern class leisure and business resort situated in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has most sections still under construction, except the cinema and shopping mall which are fully completed and functional.
The shopping mall was recently revamped and commissioned by the state government, leaving the Theme Park, Convention Centre and other sections to rodents and reptiles.
But in a recent chat with the Conference of Online Publishers Akwa Ibom State (COOPA), Chief of Staff to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen disclosed that the state government was cementing deals with a private investor who is expected to take over, complete and manage the hotel, a 14-storey building with over 200 rooms.
“Look at the Tropicana, a lot of money was sunk in. If it were a different government, perhaps today, it would have been abandoned. The mall is today working.
“Today, I have the authority of the Governor to discuss with investors to take over the hotel part of the Tropicana. I am giving you information that is not at your disposal. I am chairing a committee engaging a private investor who has the resources to take on the hotel and complete it”, he said.
Speaking further, Inyangeyen also debunked insinuations on the change of the name and location of the Ibom Deep Seaport project.
“The Deep Seaport is coming to Akwa Ibom State. There is no relocation. The Ibom Deep Seaport is coming to Akwa Ibom State. The people that the government is preparing the future for, must also be ready for that future. The youth must be ready for the future that is secured by the efforts of the government through their willingness and Commitment”, he insisted.
When quizzed on the ownership of Ibom Air, the Governor’s CoS maintained that the airline is fully owned by the state government, but however explained that it is managed by a private investor.
“Every business that Akwa Ibom State Government has, there is a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Ibom Air is owned by Akwa Ibom State Government but government can’t run it under the civil service but private structure. It is one hundred percent owned by Akwa Ibom State Government… I can give you the guarantee that Government owns Ibom Air”, Inyangeyen said.
He reiterated Governor Udom Emmanuel’s resolve to complete all ongoing projects across the state, including those inherited from previous administrations.
“Everything that Governor Godswill Akpabio started, Governor Udom Emmanuel is tidying them up. He is equally laying the foundation for industrialization. Look at Tropicana, if it were another government, the project would have been abandoned. We’re engaging with private investors that would take over the hotel section and ensure it is completed and functional”, he said.
About the Governor’s succession plan, he said; “I think the Governor should be believed and given time. The Governor has no plans to bring in a puppet. Power belongs to God. If it is God that will speak to the Governor, when the Governor brings out a candidate, trust me, people will queue behind. God can never be late; Let’s give the Governor benefit of the doubt.”
Inyangeyen who did not divulge if he has interest in contesting for an elective position in 2023 however said his political ambition is hinged on the will of God.
“If it is the will of God that I contest election in 2023, I will contest. If it is the will of God, He will put it in the minds of my people. It is God’s plans that will work in Akwa Ibom State. Men will plan, but God will overrule”, he said.
Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom (COOPA)