The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) is expected to commission the St. Gabriel Coconut Oil Factory in Mkpat Enin, Akwa Ibom State, Friday, following the successful test running of the facility.
The multi-billion naira value-chain facility which would create thousands of job opportunities for Akwa Ibom people was constructed by the Turkish firm, VKS.
A release by the Media Unit of the Government House, Uyo further states that the factory is expected to employ over 3000 direct workers and can crack 1,000,000 nuts a day.
“The St. Gabriel’s Coconut Oil Factory project, a major industrial investment by Akwa-Ibom State Government comprises a factory complex complete with administrative offices, production areas, technical spaces, industrial firefighting systems, water treatment plants, effluent treatment plants and residential quarters for technical and managerial staff as well as parking areas for several raw materials bearing vehicles”, the statement read in part.
The project is located in the serene environment of Ikot Akpan Okop Village, along the East-West Road in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. The project execution was flagged off by Governor Udom Emmanuel during a ground-breaking ceremony on 24th May 2017.
It will be recalled that a whopping two million fast yielding hybrid coconut trees had been planted on an 11,000 hectare of land at the St Gabriel plantation in a swampland spanning Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi and Eastern Obolo local government areas.
Similarly, the Akwa-Ibom State Government has ensured that coconuts are cultivated at Okobo, Okon -Eket and other locations in the state.
This makes it the largest coconut plantation in Africa, and the most ambitious coconut project in the world. “All this is a conscious effort by the visionary leadership of Governor Udom Emmanuel to prepare Akwa-Ibom State, which is Nigeria’s highest crude oil-producing state, from over-reliance on petroleum.”