Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (OBA) says the future of Akwa Ibom State in Gas investments and Rice Production is very bright.
Already, Senator Albert, who is an economist and currently the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) has started discussing with key investors in the oil and gas sector, towards locating virtual gas pipelines in all the local government areas of Akwa Ibom State.
Additionally, a functional major rice belt, powered by prominent rice producers in Nigeria and abroad, is to be established within the Eastern Ibibio hub of Akwa Ibom State.
Senator Albert, who is the leading 2023 governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State disclosed these while addressing delegates and stakeholders in Ini Local Government Council, during his consultative visit to them on Friday.
The senator, who served as Chairman Senate Committee on Gas during his first term, pledged to draw from his wide experiences and contacts, nationally and internationally, to make Akwa Ibom better, building on the foundations laid by previous administrations in the state.
The former Vice President of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), said the virtual pipelines will enable Akwa Ibom people access to cheaper gas supply, thereby making life easier for them.
The virtual pipeline, he explained, is a system that allows for natural gas in the form of compressed/liquefied gas, using modules attached to mobile platforms, which are transported by trucks, ferry boats, boats and/or rail platforms. Simply put, it does not require pipelines, which can easily be vandalised.
Senator Albert told the people that some of his colleagues in the senate, who are major rice farmers, were already on standby to mobilise to ensure Ini becomes a major rice belt for Akwa Ibom and Nigeria.
“Most of the well-packaged rice I and some major rice marketers have been patronising have been produced by my friends and colleagues. They are local rice. Those colleagues are ready to mobilise to Ini, any time soon. Ini will be a functional rice belt once I become the Governor,” he said.
He cited the example of Kebbi State, which does not receive much allocation but thrives on agriculture, particularly rice produce.
According to him, the same laudable experience will soon be brought to Akwa Ibom State, through him.
On behalf of the stakeholders, Squadron Leader Benson said they were blessed, proud and honoured to have OBA as a son of Eastern Ibibio block. He pledged their support for the senator’s governorship aspiration.
AVM Sampson Akpasak (rtd.), who also spoke, called for unity among Eastern Ibibio people, noting that what separates them are artificial boundaries.
The people promised to woo more supporters and delegates for Senator Akpan for his governorship aspiration, which they agreed will be for the good of all.