Decades of a consistent lawful agitation for a State by the people of the mainland part of old Cross River State resulted in the historic creation of Akwa Ibom State on Thursday 23rd September 1987.

Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida who created the state, envisioned “the full mobilization of your human and material resource endowments for the benefit of your State and our great country will make your State a model for others to emulate.” And so from 1987 each successive administration to date, has contributed its quota to the realization of this vision.

Lying between latitudes 4⁰ 32” and 5⁰ 33” north and longitudes 7⁰ 35” and 8⁰ 25” East, Nigeria’s 21st State – Akwa Ibom – sits on 7,081 square kilometres of the Niger-Delta region within the southern extremity of Nigeria’s geographical layout; a landmass which makes it the 10th largest state in Nigeria.

Akwa Ibom experiences two main seasons: the wet and the dry seasons. The South-West onshore winds bring heavy rains (usually from April to November) and the North-East trade winds blowing from the Sahara Desert up north brings the dry season (usually from November to March).

Across the state, there is an attractive variety of natural landscapes. This ranges from the saltwater mangrove swamp and picturesque vegetation island, to flat land of secondary vegetation and pockets of thick tropical forests, palm groves and vegetable land to rugged valleys in the slopes of hills.

OPPORTUNITIES

Akwa Ibom presents inexhaustible opportunities and consequently an impressive investment portfolio and the State Government is willing and accessible to productive local and foreign collaborations for the optimal utilization of these opportunities for economic development. An abundance of land provides for investment opportunities in agriculture and real estate. Akwa Ibom is yet a virgin tourist haven with its unlimited tourist sites eagerly awaiting investors to cash-in. Aside having the longest coastline in the country, the waterfront at Ibaka, is the deepest (and so can harbour larger vessels than any other) in the country, and holds the promise of the proposed Ibom Deep Seaport and Industrial City; prospectively an unprecedented commercial hub which will further open Nigeria to the world.

Richly endowed with large deposit of crude oil and other mineral resources, Akwa Ibom can conveniently host Refineries, Oil & Gas and other petrochemical support. There are also further opportunities in the manufacturing industry in the areas of food processing and agriculture (fertilizer, farm implements, and storage facilities). Akwa Ibom bears close proximity to densely populated commercial nerve centres like Aba and Onitsha, and by its strategic location midway between the two port cities of Calabar and Port Harcourt, it is the only state in the country serviced by multiple export free zones. This translates to a large market for products and services. This has elicited the commencement of modalities for the establishment of an Oil & Gas Free Trade Zone in the state.

RESOURCES

Akwa Ibom is blessed with reasonably clement weather conditions all year round while the entirety of her landmass and surrounding waters is endowed naturally with large deposits of agricultural, petroleum and mineral resources for private, commercial and industrial consumption.

Human Resources

The large population of people translates to a large workforce (about 55% of the population is aged between 21 and 55 years). From top-level management to artisans, there is an abundance of hands with prerequisite knowledge, experience and skill set at all levels. This large population also translates to a large consumer base for products and services.

 

Petroleum Resources

Crude oil in the Niger Delta was first discovered at Ikot Akata during the early fifties following the commencement of petroleum exploration in Nigeria in 1937. Today eight of the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom – Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno, Uruan, Eastern Obolo, Onna and Mbo – have extensive deposits of Crude oil. Akwa Ibom is consequently the country’s largest Oil-producing state and by extension, one of the country’s major revenue earners.

Mineral Resources

By virtue of its geographic location, Akwa Ibom is endowed with large deposits of a wide variety of minerals – some in trace, others in commercial quantity.
Silica sand which is used in the production of glass can be found in Esit Eket, Mbo, Etim Ekpo, Eastern Obolo and Oron.
Ibiono Ibom, Oron, Uruan, Nsit Ibom, Essien Udim, Abak, Ikono and Ini have gravel in large quantity.
Limestone can be found in Ini.
Clay can be found in Itu, Ibiono, Ikot Abasi, Eket, Onna, Etinan, Nsit Ubium, Ini and Uyo.
Nsit Ibom and Ini Local Governments are blessed with Coal.
Silver Nitrate is available in Uruan.

Agricultural Resources

Contemporary economic trends have made agriculture (which is widely an essential cultural engagement in Akwa Ibom) even more exigent at subsistent and commercial levels. Agriculture in Akwa Ibom is greatly bolstered by abundant and diverse resources, as well as favourable ecological conditions.

These rich agricultural potentials in Akwa Ibom support the local, national and international nutritional needs of people in addition to providing raw materials for the industrial sector as well as other supplementary products and services.

Akwa Ibom is arguably Nigeria’s number one producer of Oil Palm as the state has the highest number of oil palm tree per unit area of land in the country. Raffia Palm is grown in Uruan, Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene, Itu and Mbo.

A cash crop like Cocoa, which is largely “an untapped oil well” in the country considering its value in the international market, is cultivated extensively in Ikono and Ini through a special Cocoa Maintenance Scheme instituted by the State Government.

Gmelina, for paper production, is available in Itu and Ibiono, while Timber is available in commercial quantity across the state. Rubber is available in Uruan, Itu, Uyo and Oruk Anam areas.

Akwa Ibom’s fertile land also supports the wide spread cultivation of root crops like Cassava, yam, cocoyam and water-yam. Akwa Ibom is also well-known for the production of grains with Maize prevailing everywhere, while Rice thrives in Ibiono Ibom, Ini and Ikono. Coconut, with its diverse uses, is also available in large quantity across the State. The State Government recognizes this and has established the St. Gabriel Coconut Plantation & Refinery Ltd.

Plantain and Banana are also widely cultivated.

An active aquaculture places Akwa Ibom as a frontline state in Seafood production inadvertently due to its coastal location. Oron, Mbo, Ibeno, Eket, Ikot Abasi, as well as Uruan and Itu are responsible for the massive cultivation of fish, shrimps, crayfish, oysters and periwinkle.

Livestock production is also widely undertaken in Akwa Ibom. Poultry is widely cultivated and the establishment of a poultry hatchery in Uruan – the first in the eastern region of the country – highlights the significance of this. Goats are also bred in the rural areas.

Akwa Ibom has tropical vegetation that guarantees forestry as a viable economic venture. This in turn propagates the cultivation of wildlife.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Given the abundant opportunities in Akwa Ibom, the State Government maintains a people-oriented as well as an investor-friendly stance in infrastructure consolidation.

Transport

Akwa Ibom is easily accessible by air, land and water due to the availability of an international airport, several entry roads and surrounding water ways. Within the State is an impressive network of intra- and inter-city roads which make for easy commuting and movement of goods and services; a probable reason for Akwa Ibom having the third lowest accident rate in the entire country.

The Akwa Ibom International Airport will (upon completion of its MRO facility – the first in Africa) bring all carriers in Africa and other continents to the State for Turn-Around-Maintenance of Aircrafts.

Sports

An Olympic-size Stadium in Uyo, the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, is the home ground of Akwa United Football Club, winners of the country’s 2015 Federation Cup and the 2016 Glo Premier League Super Four Tournament. The stadium also plays hosts to Nigeria’s senior national team. There are also several sports facilities across the state, completed and ongoing.

Technology

There is a high level of access to and application of technology across economic, social, educational, media and communication sectors of corporate, commercial and private life. There is GSM coverage and Internet services throughout the State given the presence of all Telecommunication Service providers.

 

Power

The State-owned Ibom Power Company is currently expanding power generation to sustain and improve the already remarkable power supply after having acquired a license to this effect.

 

Education

Akwa Ibom is a citadel of education boasting numerous private and Government-owned educational and training facilities; all well-manned and equipped to deliver quality education. Education at the primary and post-primary levels is free and compulsory, as directed and provided for by the Government.

 

Health

Healthcare, like education, is a legitimate prerogative of every indigene of the State. These are pursued aggressively by both the government and private sector, evident in the many health institutions in every nook and cranny of the State’s geo-political units. Prominent amongst these is the Ibom Specialist Hospital which is a case-study in medical tourism, while several others are in the pipeline.

 

Housing

Despite the inevitable rural-urban drift, accommodation in Akwa Ibom State poses little or no problem, as residential facilities are readily available for lease while standard hotels provide comfortable abode for all categories of guests to the state – temporarily or permanently.

 

Industries

The importance of the industrial sector to economic growth has prompted the incumbent government to relentlessly pursue the revival of a hitherto vibrant industrial sector which boasted Battery, Paint, Aluminum, Plastics, Tiles and Ceramic, a Paper mill, Agricultural and allied products manufacturing industries, as the pivot of its developmental agenda. This the Government does by granting incentives for the development of medium and large scale industries and by encouraging investors.

Commerce

Akwa Ibom has in recent years witnessed tremendous growth in commerce, especially given the entrepreneurial facelift since the advent of the incumbent administration in the state. Commercial activities undertaken by large, medium and small-scale commercial outfits include sale and distribution of a variety of imported and locally made textiles, cosmetics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, spare parts, vehicles, buildings materials and electronics.

The private sector is active in the service areas in the fields of engineering, medicine, management, information and education, provided by a number of firms. As the elements which oil the wheels of economic activities, most banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria have branches in Akwa Ibom, providing a variety of financial services

Security

Akwa Ibom is generally regarded as “the most peaceful State in the Niger-Delta”, and deservedly so. The Government ensures that residents go about their daily business in safety and tranquility by prioritizing an effective security network through optimal efforts from the Security Agencies and other Special Security Units. A Nigerian Army Barrack, the Ibagwa Barracks, is located in Abak, while two other Units have been established in the State.

Markets

Itam Market, Udo Inyang market, Fiong Etok market, and a host of others are all specialized markets which easily link producers with consumers, within and outside the state.

 

SIGHTS & SOUND

A distinct air of hospitality is discernible in Akwa Ibom as it radiates an exceedingly welcoming ambience. Nature’s benevolence is evident in an abundance of exotic sights and sounds, making Akwa Ibom State a huge destination for eco-tourism, entertainment and recreation.

Art & Crafts

Amongst the better known traditional arts of Africa are those from Akwa Ibom. If you are an admirer or collector of arts and artifacts, Akwa Ibom is a must for you. Vast relics of historical value abound and are loyally preserved, as the State essentially links the country, and in deed the continent’s past, with the future in traditional Art and Craft.

Ikot Ekpene is known as “the Raffia City” because of the wide proficiency in production of personal and commercial items from raffia. In Itu, cane craft is more of a passion than an art. Mbo and other coastal areas are awash with boat-makers and fishing-net makers, while woodcarvers, weavers, potters, sculptors, blacksmiths and other craftsmen are visible in both urban and rural areas.

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Events

Legendary Gospel Music greats likes Shirley Caesar, Don Moen, Donnie McClurkin join thousands from across the world to celebrate Christmas in deep praise and worship during the annual Akwa Ibom Christmas Carols Festival in Uyo. Akwa Ibom holds the World Record for the largest group of Carol singers in the World.

Places

Akwa Ibom takes you on a trip down memory lane with impressive credentials on the historical front. There are various places of interest and relics of historical significance include:

  • the Amalgamation House (where Lord Lugard, the colonial governor, amalgamated the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914 into one geographical entity – Nigeria)
  • 1929 Women’s Riot Memorial Statue (Sculptural monument erected to commemorate the heroic sacrifice of women killed in the famous women war of 1929 against the imposition of tax on women by the colonial government)
  • Oron Museum, Oron
  • the first Qua Iboe Church in Nigeria
  • White and Blue river in Ukanafun
  • Ibeno Beach at Upenekang (the longest sand beach in West Africa)
  • Ibom Le Meridien Hotel & Golf Resort (which houses the largest golf course in Africa)
  • Ibom Tropicana Entertainment centre in Uyo
  • Ikot Ekpene Plaza in Ikot Ekpene

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