In its bid to achieve a non-oil economy and create employment, the Federal Government has promised to reactivate two abandoned fishing terminals in Akwa Ibom State.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, to newsmen at the weekend after the tour of facilities at Akai Ebughu and Ibaka terminals in Mbo Council.
He said that over N100 billion would be required to complete the project, to boost the country’s economy.
Enang further explained that remedial measures would soon commence in the terminals for skeletal business activities pending full completion of the project.
The two fishing terminals were in existence before the creation of Akwa Ibom State. But successive governments at the state and federal levels reportedly paid little or no attention to the moribund facilities.
“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 this multipurpose terminal, which were initially conceived, planned and constructed primarily as fishing terminals, but it is now for all kinds of vessels and all economic activities. These terminals, when activated, can take care of economic challenges of this country, which include fishing and all kinds of import which would create employment,” he 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.
“The essence of this visit is to let investors see the potential here. Some of the investors that can be interested in this terminal are those who are building trawlers, ships, and other sea-going vessels.
“We have to show them the facilities which they could use in shipbuilding, while others could be interested in operating in this port for the purpose of going into the Atlantic Ocean to fish,” he added.
Enang said that the Federal Government was determined to boost security at sea and coastal areas to curtail the activities of pirates at Ibaka seaports, adding that modalities were being worked out to alleviate the plight of the people in the coastal area.
Earlier, speaking on behalf of the people, the president of Oro Union, Mr. Etim Atteh, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for sending the team to assess the abandoned terminals and appealed to the Federal Government to ensure their urgent reactivation for the development of the economy.