By Musa Adamu
Federal government is to resuscitate ailing fishing terminal in the Niger Delta region to boost agricultural production and create employment for sustainable peace and development.
Senior Special Assistant to the President, Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang disclosed this when he led the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Fisheries and Ship Building to assess the facilities at Ebughu fishing terminal and Ibaka both in Mbo local government of Akwa Ibom state.
Senator Ita Enang explained that the Inter-Ministerial Committee was put together to assess the multipurpose jetty which was initially conceived, designed and constructed primarily as fishing jetty terminal but had now been turned into vessels berthing for all kind of economic activities.
He noted that the terminal when finally activated, would boost Nigeria economic activities which include fishing, and other kinds of imports for employment creation.
He further said that the visit was to enable investors appreciate the potentials of the terminal.
He said: “We have people who are interested in investing and expanding the Ebughu terminals so that they can be operating within the Atlantic Ocean. We have showed them the facilities they can use for ship building or building of trawlers.”
Enang disclosed that the Ebughu shipping terminals had fish processing, ship maintenance and dry dockyard facilities.
He promised to relate with Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) so as to ensure that vessels which had goods for South East and South South are diverted to the Port.
A statement issued by Edet Ekpenyong Etuk, Chief Press secretary to SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, indicated that some of Potential investors who were interested in building Trawlers, ships and fishing vessels were part of the team that visited the Ebughu and Ibaka fishing terminal in Mbo LGA.
It said others still were on the entourage because of their interest the deep sea to fish for prawns, shrimps and all marine life that are of expert quality.
The SSA decried a situation in which fishing vessels from Europe come into the territorial waters of Nigeria and fish for prawns and all kinds of marine life, take it back to Europe and other countries, process it and send it back to Nigeria.
He recalled that the President had accented to the Bill on Sea Piracy on June last year giving the maritime international community comfort that any matter relating to the crime in the Sea would be dealt with by the government of Nigeria in accordance with international law
He promised to draw the attention of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency NIMASA to the area so that the issue would be resolved ones and for all.
He said more people would come and operate in diverse ways legally.
*My job is to develop the non-oil economy, next time the Inter-Ministerial Committee will be going to Delta and Bayelsa state. We will be visiting the farms that have been by the River Bain Authority and will take them one per state to make as model farms. I am working with Agricultural Development Council to discover seed that can grow well”.
Earlier, The President General of Oron Union International Bishop Etim Atteh called on the Federal government to set up Task Force made of Nigeria Air Force and Navy to wipe out Sea Pirates which has added to the agony of the people of the coastal region.
He however commended the Nigeria Police and Navy for their effort to contend the activities of the Sea Pirates but called on the Federal Government to provide them with Gunboats.