CONSTRUCTION: AKPABIO SEEKS TO PARTNER BERGER, GERMAN FIRMS
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has asked German companies to collaborate with the state government in the construction of Ibaka Deep Seaport, refinery, ammonia and fertilizer plants in the free trade zone approved by the Federal Government.
Akpabio, who requested the collaboration on Saturday when the Chairman of Bilfinger Berger SE, Roland Koch, paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor's Lodge, Uyo, also invited the German company to be involved in the management of Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Akwa Ibom International Airport, Uyo.
He said Julius Berger had done well and excelled in delivering high quality standard buildings and roads and imbued more confidence in bringing more German engineers and companies to help in building a better and greater Akwa Ibom.
He recalled that before he assumed duty, he had visited the headquarters of Julius Berger in Abuja to invite the firm to participate in rebuilding Akwa Ibom and commended it for providing quality jobs in the state.
'I thank you for transforming from politics to business. I hope to join you in that direction possibly as a stakeholder. JB has done tremendously well in Akwa Ibom. I will like to build an enduring infrastructure in my state and I will like to partner you. Five years of relating with you has been mutually beneficial. 'You have a great name and reputation in quality. When some people heard about foreign ownership, there was deep concern about quality. But we are happy that the German engineers would remain and the standard won't be compromised,' he stated.
Akpabio said the company was rated high in performance and quality and urged it to sustain the high ranking, adding 'it is good that Nigeria is given an opportunity to have a say in the company.' He urged the company to increase the momentum of performance in completing the Olympic-sized stadium currently under construction in Uyo, the state capital.
The Chairman of Bilfinger Berger SE, Koch, said it was a great honour to be in Nigeria and thanked Akwa Ibom government for giving the company opportunity to assist in the development of the state.
Koch, who was accompanied by the Managing Director of Julius Berger International, Hens Jekenson and the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Nigeria, Wolfgang Koch, noted that the company's relationship with Nigeria was lasting.
He acknowledged that the company was rendering a high quality job for the government, pointing out that Nigeria wanted local contents and this made JB to give up part of its stake in the company to make it purely Nigerian company.
According to him, this reduction of the company's stakes did not mean watering down standard, assuring that the company would continue to maintain standard and quality in job execution.