The United States Government has honoured Dr Azibapu Eruani, President of Azikel Group, for his investments in industrial ventures that create jobs.
According to a statement issued on Friday in Yenagoa by Austin Ebipade, Spokesman of Azikel Group, Eruani was recognised for changing the narratives by supporting the industrialisation and economic growth of Nigeria.
The statement noted that the US Consul-General, F. John Bray, accompanied by the US Head of Commercial, Brent Omadhl, presented the award at the US Embassy in Lagos on August 20.
Bray said the recognition, conferred on Eruani and the Azikel Group to advance societal growth and development by putting in wheels on industries in motion, not for pecuniary gain, is commendable.
Noting that the Azikel Group of Companies comprising, Azikel Dredging/Construction, Azikel Air, Azikel Power and Azikel Petroleum had impacted positively on the Niger Delta region, Brady said the companies are privately owned and actively participating in redressing the contemporary problems limiting the region from development.
The US Consul-General stated that private sector participation is key to the accelerated development of any nation, adding that advanced nations leverage on the vibrant contribution and support of her private sector, which is critical to growing a robust economic base that would gainfully absorb its citizenry into productive ventures, improve institutions and societal wellbeing.
His words: “Azikel Group is one of the biggest employers of labour in the Niger Delta and Nigeria, just as it has been in the forefront leading the industrialisation and economic growth of the country.
“Industrialization is the remedy to recurring chaos, crisis and conflict in the country. The Azikel model has continued to stem restiveness in the Niger Delta region, resolve issues of unstable power supply and insufficient and scarcity of petroleum products, as well as long queues at filling stations in the country.
“We applaud Dr Eruani for the achievement and progress of the Azikel Refinery, which will create a multiplier business chain for Nigeria, sustainable wealth, which is a key index of a healthy industrial economy.”
In his response, Eruani lauded the US Government for the recognition of his effort in growing the economy through massive industrialisation initiatives, stressing that he remained irrevocably committed to the new industrialisation and economic advancement of Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that the Azikel Refinery, which is at advance stage of completion, would contribute to reducing queues at filling stations, end fuel scarcity and importation.
He said: “Our motivation is centred on ensuring that we put food on the table of Nigerians. We want to close the wealth distribution gap; we want to change the unpleasant narratives about the Niger Delta and Nigeria and promote her economy to rank among the best in the comity of advanced nations,” Eruani said.