The federal government of Nigeria is set to reactivate the fishing terminal at Ebughu community of Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State, officials have said.
The administration of president Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, September 2020 inspected the moribund facility, saying it was prepared to renovate and expand it for robust agricultural activities.
The team was led by the senior special adviser to the president on Niger Delta affairs, Senator Ita Enang and the senior special adviser to the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele on Agriculture, Mr. Anthony Ifechukwu.
Addressing locals at the visit, the presidential aide stated that he was at the facility to show the CBN official details of required interventions for onward development.
Ita Enang explained that apart from fishing, the Niger Delta environment was blessed with fresh water and fertile land for cultivation and rearing of oil palm, rice, maize, coaco, cotton, cassava, snails, poultry, among others, under the Federal Government Emergency Agricultural Programme.
He noted that resources were being sourced by the CBN to develop the facility and called on the leaders and youths of Oro Nation to cooperate with government for the actualization of the initiative.
Enang reiterated president Buhari’s directive that no single Dollar should be released to anyone for any sort of food importation, underscoring the importance of the facility in local food production.
In his reaction, the senior special adviser to the CBN Governor on Agriculture, Anthony Ifechukwu stated that he was at the facility for assessment, on the instruction of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
Anthony Ifechukwu pointed out that his good office would work out the market structure for distribution of finished products to other states of the federation.
“I used to read about this place since 1976, during the military regime of General Olusegun Obasanjo. I can assure you that with what I have seen on ground today, by the time we reactive it and provide the market structure, this place shall provide job for over 10 thousand people.
“This fishing terminal is strategic because it has the facility for preservation of a large volume of processed and preserved sea food for further distribution to places like Aba, Umuahia, Port Harcourt and the rest”, he said.
Meanwhile, a community leader in Oro Nation, Arc Otu Ita Toyo who expressed gratitude to government for the interest in reviving the facility, admonished the youths to stay calm and lend support to government as nothing could be achieved in an atmosphere of anger.
His words, “These are bank officials who have the funds to put in this project. We have to create a peaceful ambiance and accommodate our visitors. While we must consciously get ready for any engagement opportunity, we must note that it was government that brought this project and it is only government that can revive it for us.”
However, a community youth, Prince Godwin Edubio who said they were angry because of the “several fruitless visits” by government officials, whose promises have always failed, pleaded with Nigerian authorities to revive the project for the good of all.
It could be recalled that in February 2020, Senator Ita Enang had led a multi sectoral government contingent to assess the level of decay at the Ebughu multipurpose jetty and terminal with a view to reviving it to boost agricultural value chains, increase revenue and create employment opportunities for the teaming Nigerian youths.
Enang had said the exercise was being carried out across Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Ondo States, in order to meet President Buhari’s expectations of harvesting full potentials of the Blue Economy, through fish processing, icing, storage and other activities.
Credit: Joseph Atainyang