The federal government says it will revamp moribund ports and fishing terminals in the Niger Delta as part of its programmes on economic diversification and job creation in the region.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang stated this when he led a multi-sectoral committee on inspection of the moribund fishing terminal in Ebughu and Ibaka fishing settlement in Mbo local government, Akwa Ibom state.

He said the delegation will also visit Bayelsa, Rivers and other states in the region on assessment of moribund ports and fishing terminals.

Enang, said the federal government hopes to re-create a multi-sectoral economy in the Niger Delta through agriculture and maritime businesses.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari is interested in diversifying the nation’s economy by developing available agricultural value chains that will increase revenue and create employment opportunities for the youths.

Enang noted that Ebughu multi-purpose jetty and terminal if activated can take care of some of the economic challenges of the Niger Delta region, and can equally open up the area to fishing vessels from Europe to berth for processing, icing, storage and other activities.

“This is just the launching point. We’ll be visiting the jetty in Port Harcourt and other parts of the country to ensure they are activated. We shall relate more with the Nigerian Ports Authority to ensure their full involvement in the whole process, so they could direct vessels with corresponding capacity to berth here.”

“This terminal has the same depth with the Calabar port which is being dredged. We shall encourage the operators to also dredge it a bit. You must do your business in a peaceful and orderly manner”, he said.

 Federal government to revive ports, fishing terminals in Niger Delta SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang (2nd from right), President- General of Oro Union, Bishop Etim Ante, (3rd from right) and others during an inspection of Ebughu fishing terminal in Mbo local government area on Friday 31st January 2020.

While charging fishermen at the Ibaka beach to be watchful as they go about their businesses, Enang said the federal government will provide adequate security that will encourage an effective and rewarding sea time harvest.

“Mr President will ensure that security threats are resolved, so as to enable you go to the high seas for peaceful and rewarding fishing experience. What we have started here shall be done across Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Ondo states; so we can meet the expectations of President Buhari which is to harvest full potentials of the Blue Economy”, he concluded.

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The Special Assistant on Special Duties to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Funmi Badmus and the Special Assistant on Oil and Gas to the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr. Azuka Agbidi, who were part of the delegation said their principals were ready to play their parts to give the terminals due attention.

Also, the Akwa Ibom state Director, federal ministry of agriculture, Dr. Uyo-Obong Uko and the representative of the Fishery Society of Nigeria, Prof. Francis Ikoki, said they will do their best to ensure the terminals realised its aims, to “feed the nation, create employment and generate income”.

Meanwhile, the President-General of Oro Union, Bishop Etim Ante, has thanked the federal government for the visit to the Ebughu fishing terminal and Ibaka fishing settlement, noting that the project had laid waste for about 20 years.

Ante who is also the chairman of Akai Ebughu community said revitalization of the terminal will improve the economy of the community, state and the region.

The inspection team was received by the President-General of Afaha Ebughu Development Union, Elder Ita Onukak; President of Oro Youth Movement (OYOM), Comrade Victor Mkpofor; the Youth President of Ibaka, Elder Chris Ukap, the President, Ibaka Development Association, Elder Okon Effiong and others.

The communities and fishermen called on the federal government to beef up security on the sea to protect their businesses from pirates.