…assures on completion of on going projects
Akwa Ibom state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has inaugurated the remodeled Ibom Tropicana Shopping Mall, with the assurance of completing the 14-storey Tropicana Hotel to complement the Four Point by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene before the end of his administration in 2023.
Performing the inauguration on Thursday, February 11 at the Tropicana Complex, Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo, Governor Emmanuel stated that his “legs are on the throttle” of development firing from all cylinders until the completion agenda is achieved”, and assured that he would leave Akwa Ibom better.
“My government is not a noise making government.
“Give me a space and I will give you a market space.
“Give me a carcass and I will give you Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. I will not allow investments belonging to Akwa Ibom people go down the drain.
“We will transform it to become value adding to the society”, he said.
He mentioned challenges surrounding projects execution to include connection to power supply from the national grid and absence of feasibility studies for some of the projects.
The Governor described the Tropicana Mall as the new face of business in Akwa Ibom, stating that the Mall is not different from what is obtainable in Europe and elsewhere and expressed optimism that the project will help develop local economy, create jobs and wealth.
Governor Emmanuel gave the assurances of his administration’s commitment to complete all projects initiated in the state for the benefits of Akwa Ibom people.
“I want to believe if not for the setback of COVID-19 in 2020, by now our Four Point by Sheraton hotel in Ikot Ekpene would have been up and running. If you check, it is about 99% completed.
“The only thing remaining is for the management team to move in. We are reworking the agreement on that hotel and we will put everything in place to address all the challenges.
“We are doing everything to make sure investments that belong to all Akwa Ibom people are not allowed to waste”.
The governor who disclosed that his government was currently in talks with investors on completing the proposed Ibom Tropicana hotel, said “our vision, mission and dream is to make sure that before we leave office in 2023 we would have turned that uncompleted building into a hotel to complement what we are doing in Ikot Ekpene because we are making Akwa Ibom State a tourist destination”.
“We are hoping within a short moment Marriot should move in and that place commissioned. I know that place will employ over a thousand of Akwa Ibom people not to talk of indirect labour”, he added.
Speaking further, Governor Emmanuel assured that the international market in Eket would be commissioned to complement the state government’s investments in tourism and hospitality.
Earlier, the managing Director, Tropicana Mall , Engr. Oludemi Akinsanya spoke of the investment friendly disposition of the state, saying that the ease of doing business in the state is nothing compared to other states and described Akwa Ibom as an investment destination.
“We are present in other states, we are present in Imo State, in Delta and a number of other states but this is the fastest state that documentations have been done. Our C of O was ready in less than one month.
“We had states that we spent two years pursuing C of O. We did our study and found that beyond the whole expectation, Akwa Ibom is actually and investment destination. The ease of doing business here is unequalled and I stand to be challenged. We are investing in virtually every state of the federation, but the ease of doing business in Akwa Ibom State is unequalled”, Akinsanya said.
The Tropicana Mall which remodeling ground breaking exercise took place in 2015, is a Public-Private-Partnership business model where the investors have 75% and the state government having 25%.
It sits on an 18, 249sqm space with 75 shops; leasable space of 10, 882 on the ground floor and 2363sqm on the top floor.
The mall will offer services ranging from entertainment, leisure, recreation, food, beverages, electronics , computers, groceries , pharmaceuticals, fashion etc. It presently provides direct employment for 600 Akwa Ibom persons and 2500 indirect jobs along the value chain.
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