Aminat Isah, Abuja
The Federal Government has expressed concern over the incessant piracy by foreign ship owners on Nigeria’s high seas, and said it is unacceptable.
The 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 on an assessment tour of the multipurpose jetty facilities at Ebughu and Ibaka fishing terminals in Mbo local government of Akwa Ibom state.
According to the senator, the Inter-Ministerial Committee’s assessment visitation to the multipurpose jetty which was initially conceived, designed and constructed primarily as fishing jetty terminal, but has now been turned into vessels berthing for all kind of economic activities, is to open it up for investors to appreciate its potentials and also see how it can be activated for the original purpose it was constructed.
He noted that the terminal when fully activated, will boost Nigeria’s economic activities in fishing, and other kinds of imports for employment creation, saying that the Buhari-led administration would resuscitate the ailing fishing terminals in the Niger Delta Region as a way of boosting agricultural production and create employment for sustainable peace and development.
“ 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 shown them the facilities, they can use it for ship building or building of trawlers. Ebughu terminal also has fish processing, ship maintenance and dry dockyard facilities.
” 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 is unacceptable,” Laments Enang
The Presidential Aide recalled that the President had accented to the Bill on Sea Piracy since June 2019 with an assurance to the maritime international community that any matter relating to crime in the Sea will be dealt with by the government of Nigeria in accordance with international law
He promised to relate with the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) so as to ensure that vessels which has goods for South East and South South are diverted to the Port, and also draw the attention of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency NIMASA to the area so that the issue would be resolved to further attract operators in a legally diverse ways.
“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 Basin 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 in such environment, ” Explained Enang
The President General of Oron Union International, Bishop Etim Atteh earlier in his remarks called on the federal government to set up Task Force comprising of the Nigeria Air Force and Navy to help 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 containing the activities of the Sea Pirates and urged the federal government to provide them with gunboats.
The President General thanked the federal government for showing interest in the development of the region.
Some potential investors interested in building trawlers, ships and fishing vessels were part of the team that visited the Ebughu and Ibaka fishing terminal in Mbo LGA.
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