Akwa Ibom has completed a gas plant in the state at the cost of $550 million (about N86.35 billion).

The governor, Godswill Akpabio, disclosed this on Monday at the opening of a two-day Advocacy Workshop organised by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) for states in the South South zone.

At the event, held in Asaba, Delta State, Akpabio also revealed that his administration had completed a functional Independent Power Plant (IPP) at Ikot Abasi, which is currently generating 191 megawatts of electricity.

He disclosed that the gas plant was a product of the state government?s partnership with a private investor, adding that the plant would be inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in November.

He said that the plant would supply gas to Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) located in the state, the IPP and to other big users of the commodity.

Akpabio also announced that the state government had completed 2,000 housing units out of a total of 10,000 units projected to be built for its public servants, and assured that the remaining units would be ready before 2015.

The governor, who stated that the efforts of the government in providing infrastructure in the state were from the limited resources available, called for an increase in derivation formula from 13 percent to 50 percent.

He said that the enormity of degradation in the South South, resulting from oil exploitation, was much and needed huge resources to redress.

Akpabio lamented that the region was contributing much to the national treasury but was getting little ?when compared with the problems it has as a result of producing the nation?s revenue?.

The governor charged RMAFC to encourage true federalism in the country by creating policies in that regard, advocating that sections of the country should be allowed to develop their natural resources and at their own pace.

He commended the commission for organising the workshop, which had ‘Economic Diversification for Sustainable National Development’ as its theme.

Akpabio remarked that economic development would not be attained if states in the country were not allowed to develop resources in their domains.

Insisting that the Federal Government had been unfair to the South South zone in the allocation of revenue from oil, he said that rather than being a blessing, discovery of oil had become a curse to oil-bearing areas.

In a goodwill message, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Sada, said that the task of diversifying the nation?s economy was collective to all stakeholders.

He said that it was in recognition of the demands of economic diversification that the ministry was promoting ?one local government area, one mineral commodity? programme.

Sada explained that the programme entailed developing at least one mineral commodity or mineral-related commodity in every council area in the country.

?This will ensure that our mineral resources are developed, thus creating the needed jobs and wealth for our citizens.”

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