Ini Billie, Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government said it has entered into partnership with the Nigerian Navy to develop marine transportation.
Speaking with our correspondent on Monday in Uyo, Commissioner for Transport, Mr Orman Esin, said the partnership would provide both alternative route to road transportation and ensure security on the waterways.
Esin explained that already the Nigerian Navy has submitted a design for ferries and cargo boats that would be completed in six months.
“We are in serious interface with the Navy to build both cruise and transportation boat, ferry that would be carrying people from Oron to Calabar.
“The design is on and since we don’t want capital flight, we will have the Navy build the boat for us since they will give us internal security. I had a meeting with the Admiral in charge of the dock and marine operations of the Navy, along with the Secretary to the State Government, and Commissioner of Internal Security.
“We are certain that as soon as we get a design and the approval of His Excellency for the design, the boat construction will commence.
“They have given us a timeline of six months but we are giving them eight months. We are believing God that by the second quarter of next year, we should have a new ferry cruising on the shore.
“Cargo is a midterm approach we are thinking about, where we will have a cargo ship that would be carrying cargo from Lagos down to Akwa Ibom. It would be easier and better for our people,” he stated.
With regards to checking the constant attacks on fishermen by sea pirates, Esin said the Ministry of Internal Security has already swung into action.
“Be rest assured that three months from today, Monday, 28 August 2023 the pirates will leave our water,” he said.