The Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, has said his administration is planning to launch a state-owned airline, Ibom Air, to “lessen the problems currently being encountered by numerous air travellers” to the state.
Mr Emmanuel said this on Friday in Uyo, during the annual state-sponsored Christmas Carol night.
The governor said the planned airline, which would be wholly owned by the state, would ensure the state remains a destination of choice for foreign investors.
“Our state-owned and run Obong Victor Attah International Airport has a category 2 runway and work is ongoing on the second taxi way,” the governor said.
The governor also said work was going on “steadily” on the Ibom Deep Seaport, in addition to numerous road projects across the state.
“Our dream to open up our state through land, air, and sea will come full cycle,” he said.
Mr Emmanuel also used the opportunity to blast his critics.
“When we promised all these, our naysayers said it couldn’t be done, and some are still deluding themselves that it hasn’t been done, even when they are driving on the road we have built, are enjoying the steady electricity we have provided, are being treated in the world class hospitals we have remodelled and equipped with modern amenities, and whose children are receiving quality education in our public schools,” the governor said.
“We will, however, not relent, we will not give in to propaganda or blackmail,” he added.
Godswill Akpabio, a senator and former governor of the state, was absent, for the first time, at the Christmas Carol which was conceived during his administration.
Mr Akpabio, who helped Mr Emmanuel become governor – against all odds – in 2015, has vowed to stop his re-election in 2019.