Francois Le-Cocq, Deputy Managing Director, Total Exploration and Production, Port Harcourt, says the company is to spend N40 million to build a soap manufacturing plant at Ekpene Ukim in Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
Le-Cocq, who stated this during the inauguration of the project in Uruan on Tuesday, added that the project was part of its corporate social responsibility.
He said the project was to compliment the present administration’s efforts at boosting the industrial base of the state.
Le-Cocq said the plant, when completed, would boost 48 direct jobs and 100 indirect jobs in the state.
He said: “This project is estimated to cost about N40 million and has the potential of creating 48 direct and 100 indirect jobs within the communities.”
Le Cocq, who was represented by the Senior Adviser on Community Affairs, Marshal Ukoh, said the plant would boost the economy of the state and support the growth of entrepreneurs in the affected community.
He said: “We have done this because we believe that it will go a long way to engineer the further development of the local economy in a sustainable manner.”
He advised the community to provide an enabling and conducive environment for the contractors handling the project.
He said: “We will continue to work towards the creation and support for small and medium sized self-sustaining business opportunities in our local communities, as they are the bedrock for the future growth.”
Philip Desrach, Manager, Business and Enterprise Development of the company, said the soap plant was part of efforts by the company to empower people of the area.
Desrach said: “This will also help to promote a harmonious relationship between the company and the people.”
The Paramount Ruler of Itu, Edidem Edet Akpan, commended the company for the project and urged them to continue to roll out programmes and projects that would positively touch the lives of the people.
He said: “If other companies have been doing this, youths restiveness will be a thing of the past.”
Gregory Akpan, the youth leader in the area, appreciated the company for embarking on the projects and promised that they would create the needful conducive environment for the contractors to operate.