– Akwa Ibom keen on project with dazzling gestures
A silicon city with about 500,000 amrt inhabitants may soon emerge at the boundary of Rivers and Akwa Ibom states. It is expected to sit astride the Imo River that separates both states in the Ogoni area.
The city, a private initiative, is to be built around a proposed private tertiary institution to be called Ollor University, which may be a leader in environment and climate change sciences, among other disciplines.
Already, Akwa Ibom State has made strong bids for attention in the proposed city, showing various projects and programmes underway to advance to a silicon city status such as a 24-story administrative building with smart functionality, a deep sea port with double channels (that can admit two ships at same time), modern roads, etc.
The design of the silicon city model was presented by a consulting architect, Duboye Graham-Douglas, in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at Novotel Hotel. It was powered by the Walter Ollor Foundation established by a foremost professor of Banking and Finance in the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State.
Ollor is also a board member of Elano Investments Limited pioneering the first-ever community equity ownership scheme in any multinational corporation in Nigeria (Indorama- Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, near Port Harcourt).
The Akwa Ibom State governor, Emmanuel Udom, a private sector guru, made a case for the silicon city, showing how close the state was to achieving such a feat, thus proving that the Akwa Ibom side of the new city would find strong infrastructural support. Represented by his commissioner of information, Charles Udo, the governor said four companies including those in pencil making and toothpick have been established while the environment in the state has been made a priority.
At the event packaged by a respected events and management firm, Wider Perspectives, a representative of the Rivers State government said the state government would definitely support the silicon city idea with land permits, roads, and other infrastructural facilities.
The professor who initiated the silicon city project, Ollor, said in a welcome address that the presentation event was a kind of consultation going on to harvest ideas, test ideas, and win support. He said the city would be driven by knowledge, education, research and innovation.
He said; “We think that the silicon city approach offers the vehicle for implementing the desired transformation and socio-economic development of the Niger Delta region. There is no magic bullet for achieving sustainable development”.
A Ghanaian scientist and inventor, Thomas Mensah, showed how technology drives a silicon city and unveiled a magic wrist watch that could control one’s environment.
Several panel members gave suggestions to aid the planning of the proposed city and indicated the urgent need for Nigeria to pursue such projects especially in the 21st century. It was agreed that the city would force Nigerians to behave in manners that would make the place work in new attitudes and processes.