From Ameachi Prosper (The New Diplomat’s Delta Correspondent)
The United States Government has been urged to encourage ExxonMobil to relocate its headquarters to Akwa-Ibom State as a way of encouraging other international oil companies to follow suit.
The state Deputy Governor, Moses Ekpo, made the appeal when the Chief of Political and Economic Affairs of the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria, Mr Brandon Hudspeth, paid a courtesy visit to the Government House, Uyo.
Ekpo also called for the collaboration of the U.S. and other investors in developing the Ibom Deep Seaport project.
According to him, the seaport, when developed, would become the flagship of the shipping industry in Nigeria due to its strategic location, noting that the facility was endowed with a natural draught and direct access to all parts of the world, including the United States.
“The peaceful ambience which the state offers is the best in Nigeria for investors. The U.S. should take advantage of the enormous business opportunities, especially in the Ibom deep seaport project, which has received approval from the Federal Government.
“ExxonMobil as an American company is already enjoying the state’s favourable ambience,” he declared.
He added that the state government had invested heavily in infrastructure that was compliant with global standard, such as the 21-storey Intelligent Building for the International Olympic Committee.
Responding, Hudspeth said that he was in the state as part of his tour of the Niger Delta states, describing the visit as a demonstration of his country’s interest in investing in the region.
The visit, he added, was intended to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. and the states in the region.
He also condoled with the state on the demise of its former military governor, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (rtd.).