By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
Akwa Ibom State Government says the recent outbreak of a global epidemic known as Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China late last year, has delayed the actual commencement of work on the Ibom Blue Sea Science and Technology Park.
Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr. Iniobong Essien, disclosed this in a press release signed by his Chief Information Officer, Joseph Robert, on Tuesday.
He said the core personnel for the execution of the project dispatched to the State went for new year vacation with the work plan, hoping to return by second week of February this year to start work on the site in earnest, but could not return as they were caught in the web of travel restrictions placed on China and her people around the globe occasioned by the global epidemic, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Consequently, it only logically follows that due to this unexpected development, work on the project had to be put on hold while waiting for a medical breakthrough that will ameliorate the present spread of the viral infection and turn things around soon.
“We are in constant touch with the management of the Chinese Firm and they have affirmed their readiness to commence work at the site as soon as COVID-19 has abated and travel restrictions lifted.”
The statement noted that the project is to be executed under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the State Government and the Blue Sea International holdings Limited of China.
Dr. Essien therefore called on Akwa Ibom people and indeed the general public to continue to keep faith with the Completion Agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel-led administration, especially in his untiring effort to make science and technology the driving tool for the state’s industrialization, maintaining that the Ibom Blue Sea Science and Technology Park is work in progress.
It would be recalled that on Thursday, December 19, 2019, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, in a grand ceremony, flagged-off the reconstruction of Ibom Science Park, renamed lbom Blue Sea Science and Technology Park, which is designed to be a scientific and technological incubation hub in the State, the Nation and beyond and will offer meaningful engagements and employment to the teeming youths who desire a veritable platform to exhibit their creativity.
The Governor, at that event, assured Akwa Ibom people and critical stakeholders in the project that the State Government will discharge its commitment to ensuring timely completion of the project.