INTERVIEW: Hon. Emem Edoho is the member of Dakadda Global Oil Limited steering committee set up by the Akwa Ibom State Government to revamp the Akwa Palm Industry in Esit Eket, LGA. He is a community builder, an activist, and an advocate of good governance.
Edoho is the CEO of SEDCO ENERGY RESOURCES LTD, the indigenous company in charge of the perimeter fencing of Akwa Ibom Mill and residence area.
On 16th November, 2021, the publisher of Newsline9ja. com and crew on the spot fact-finding visit to the plantation met with the contractor on the site where answered some questions from the press on the situation of things in the place.
Read the interview below;
Q: SIR, WHAT CAN YOU SAY ABOUT THE REVITALIZATION OF AKWA PALM TAKEN OVER BY THE AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT?
ANS: It’s a commendable and welcome development to all of us in Esit Eket, particularly, the host communities of the defunct Akwa Palm now Dakadda Global Oil Ltd. Dakadda Global Oil is a successor company to Akwa Palm and the commercial agricultural investor that wants to revitalize or revamp this oil palm plantation. Akwa Palm has been one of the biggest commercial oil palm plantations in Nigeria unfortunately, due to the economic crisis and government policies, the plantation estate was abandoned and because of the industrialization drive of Governor Udom Emmanuel to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths and the masses in the state, he has decided to revitalize the industry. That is why today, we in the steering committee are actively involved to ensure there is industrial harmony, mutual understanding, and peaceful coexistence between the state and host communities so that the contractors and workers here are not in any way put to risk. So, we are here to start the revitalizing process. We want to build the perimeter fence around the Mill with office, accommodation, and oil palm plantation nursery section.
Q: YOU HAVE BEEN VERY MUCH INVOLVED IN THE REVITALIZING AND FENCING PROCESS; WHAT IS YOUR STAKE IN IT?
ANS: Well, Governor Udom Emmanuel is the man that believes in an inclusive economy, and as a good leader and developer, he has in his own wisdom, advised that local contractors should be engaged in the revitalization process and therefore, the perimeter fencing has been given to us the indigenous contractor from this community and the company that is handling that fencing is SEDCO ENERGY RESOURCES LTD.
Q: DO YOU SEE THE AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT COMPLETING THIS PROJECT AND PUTTING IT TO USE BEFORE 2023 WHERE THE TENURE OF GOVERNOR UDOM EMMANUEL WILL END?
ANS: Yes, with the blueprints on ground, I think before 2023, this industry will be fully operational and functioning.
Q: SOME PEOPLE INSINUATE THAT THE PLANTATION HAS BEEN PRIVATIZED TO AN INDIVIDUAL; IS THE RUMOUR ANYTHING TO GO BY?
ANS: The industrialization policy of the state government, I think, integrates private enterprise development. That is, entrepreneurs in the state are equally engaged to involve in the industrialization drive of the government. So, the government will partner with private investors to bring in funds. You know the governments facing liquidity crisis everywhere in the world today. But as the smart administrator that our governor is, he is bringing out investors to bring in the scares capital to invest in the industrialization process in this particular industry.
Q: CLEARING OF THE SITE IS ONGOING AND YOU HAVE BEEN COMING HERE ALMOST DAILY; WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR? DO YOU ENCOUNTER ANY DIFFICULTY IN TERMS OF YOUTH RESTIVENESS?
ANS: Yes, there have been agitations by the youths and it is our duty as members of the steering committee of Dakkada Global Oil to keep appeasing them, telling them that they should cooperate with the state government, to allow the state government to get this project kickstarted. That they are going to be employed and the economy of this place will be transformed.
Q: HAVE YOU MET WITH THEM?
ANS: Yes, we have met with them a few days ago. Some members of the steering committee had an interface with the youths of the host communities.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR APPEAL TO HIS EXCELLENCY GOVERNOR UDOM EMMANUEL?
ANS: I want his excellency governor Udom Emmanuel to take this project as a prime industrialization project in the state.
(Use Earpiece please)