By Ebi Perekeme
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that International Oil Companies have no excuse not to relocate their administrative headquarters to Akwa Ibom State.
Osinbajo disclosed this shortly after inaugurating a 21 storey Dakkada Towers in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Friday, stated that the problem of office accommodation has been taken care of by the commissioning of the building.
He commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for keeping to his promise to build the 21 storey tower, saying the investments in the Dakkada Towers was already yielding results and will attract more revenue to the state.
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He described the Dakkada tower as government’s efforts to create an enabling environment for investment to thrive in the state, adding that the tower is a catalyst for the private sector.
“These infrastructural developments are set to establish Akwa Ibom State as a major industrial hub for not just Nigeria, but in the West African sub region.
“I recall in 2015 when the governor shared the vision of his administration to construct the tallest building in the south South and South East region in Akwa Ibom State here.
“Today, I am filled with joy and pride to witness the realisation of that dream as we gather to celebrate his commitment to excellence and vision as represented by this 21 storey edifice.
“But this building is not just the tallest in the South South and South East region, it is certainly among the tallest in Nigeria and in West Africa. The completion of the Dakkada Tower will most definitely address the question of the paucity of world class office accommodation for both local and corporate, international companies, especially oil and gas companies.
“With this development, the big players in corporate Nigeria and especially in the oil and gas industry should now find it entirely auspicious to relocate their administrative headquarters to Uyo.
“This tower is a state-of-the-art smart building, combining architectural beauty with the latest technology developed for smart and efficient work space. I hear that various expressions of interests have already been received from companies in oil and gas, in banking and various sectors of the economy,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice President who also used the visit to flag-off a 557 low density luxury estate “dakkada Luxury estate” said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has invested about N8.9 trillion on infrastructure in 2020.
The Vice President expressed optimism that the Lagos-Calabar rail project and the Ibom Deep Sea port as well as the Dakkada Towers among other projects executed by both the Federal and State Governments has positioned Akwa Ibom State as a major industrial hub in Nigeria, and the West African sub region.
“Since the inception of our administration, Mr President has prioritised the development of infrastructure, roads, rail, power and despite the severe economic head winds we have experienced in the first six years, we have invested more than any administration in infrastructure.
“As of last year, we have expended over N8.9 trillion on infrastructure. Just last month, the Federal Executive Council approved the Lagos, Calabar rail project which will pass through Uyo as a major station. At the end of last year, the Federal Executive Council also approved the full business case of the Ibom Deep Sea port, and of courses as a result of the active demands of Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Also speaking, Governor Udom Emmanuel reiterated that the excuse of IOCs about having no office space to loacte their headquarters in the state has ended with the commissioning of the building, adding that he was excited because when he started the building, naysayers had said it would not be completed.
Emmanuel said his administration was spearheading innovations like the virgin coconut factory that would put the state in the world map, noting that many projects would soon be unfolded, adding that the state was very investors friendly..
“The oil companies were complaining that they did not have office accomodations, that excuse has ended today,” he said.
In his welcome remarks, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh said the 21 storey was a child of necessity, born out of the desire of Akwa Ibom people and the Federal Government directives to have IOCs operating in the state have their presence there.
Etteh said the smart building which is four metres high is sited on a 48,000 square metres of land, has capacity to accommodate 400 cars, has a sick bay, two inner and one open restaurants.
He mentioned other features of the tower to include advanced electronic and information technologies, interrelated structure, system, service and management, energy efficient building and enhanced connectivity through wired and wireless network and advanced sensor systems among others.