A-Ibom: Suspected militants attack shipping facility, demand 20m settlement

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Suspected militants have attacked facilities at the new Norfin Offshore Shipyard located in the boundary shoreline of Ikot Ukpong in the Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The inauguration of the shipyard initially billed for January 23, 2021 has been shifted to January 30 by Governor Udom Emmanuel following the attacks.

The armed men reportedly arrived the yard at about 5am on Monday and shot indiscriminately to scare security workers around the site away before throwing the explosives into the multi-million naira dredging facility of the company.

Chairman of the facility, Iniekong Udonwa, lamented the damage done to facilities at the shipyard by the suspected militant group from Ogoni part of Rivers State.

“They said we cannot start any business in Akwa Ibom State without first settling them.

“They keep telling our staff to tell the Government of Akwa Ibom to reach out to them since they are in charge of both Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.

Where do they expect me to get N20m for them after destroying our machine worth N60m,” he asked.

Udonwa stated that the incident had discouraged him greatly as it had affected expansion activities, causing him to strongly consider taking the investment elsewhere.

The chairman said the investment was borne out of his desire to contribute to the development of the state by providing employment opportunities for her teeming youths.

At the last count he said, over 100 employees were working at the shipyard with four of them from neighbouring Rivers State.

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