The governor disclosed this when the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh, visited him in the state government house, Uyo.

Mr Emmanuel, who was represented by his deputy, Moses Ekpo, said the floating of an airline on the Nigerian Exchange, Ibom Air, by the state government, was part of his administration’s efforts to industrialise the state and create investment opportunities.

He said the plan for the airline would be to float the shares of Ibom Air on the floor of the NSE to afford Nigerians the opportunity to buy and own the shares of the company.

“Ibom Air was a strategic investment to help grow the economy of the state. We plan to expand the scope of the investment further, considering the tremendous success the airline has become within so short a time.

“We will soon float the share of the line on the Nigerian Stock Exchange for interested Nigerian investors to buy into the success of the company as co-owners with the State Government.

“However, we will give preference to indigenes of the state to exercise their right of first refusal in the acquisition of the shares of the airline,” he said.

The government said the state would leverage on the expertise of the BPE towards the industrialisation policy of the administration and called for greater synergy between the privatisation agency and the state.