By Isaiah Eka
Mbo (Akwa Ibom) – The Federal Government has promised to reactivate the abandoned fishing terminals in Akwa Ibom to complement its drive for the non-oil economy as well as create employment for the teeming youth.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang, disclosed this to newsmen on Saturday after the tour of facilities at the Akai Ebughu and Ibaka terminals all in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.
Enang said that over N100 billion would be required to bring the project to its full completion, adding that the project, when completed, would boost the economy of the nation.
He said that remedial measures would soon commence in the terminals to harness business activities, pending the full completion of the project.
“Part of our effort is to make sure that the economic potential of Nigeria in the sea, including agriculture, fishing, port activities and all things that can engage citizens of this country as well as generating revenue for the economy are activated.
“We are assessing the state of these multipurpose terminals which were initially conceived, planned and constructed primarily as fishing terminals but it is for all kinds of vessels and all economic activities.
“These terminals when activated can take care of the economic challenges of this country, which include fishing and all kinds of import, which would create employment,” Enang said.
The Presidential aide added that part of the reasons for assessing the project was to let the investors identify the potential of the facility and take advantage as well.
“The essence of this visit is to let investors see the potential here; some of the investors that can be interested in investing in this terminal are those who are building trollers, ships and other sea going vessels.
“We have to show them the facilities which they could use in ship building.
“Others could be interested in operating in this port for the purpose of going into the Atlantic Ocean to fish all kinds of marine life that are of export quality and can be used here,” he said.
Enang said that the Federal Government was determined to boost security at the high sea and coastal areas to curtail the activities of sea pirates at Ibaka seaports.
He said that government was also working out modalities for alleviating the plight of the people in the coastal area.
Representative of the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-agege, who was in the entourage, Mr Azuka Agbihi, pledged the commitment of the National Assembly to ensure the actualisation of the project.
Speaking on behalf of the people, the President of Oro Union, Mr Etim Atteh, commended President Muhamadu Buhari for sending the team to assess the abandoned terminal.
He appealed to the Federal Government to ensure an urgent reactivation of the terminals for the growth of the economy.