By The Evangelist News edition, Saturday December 30, 2023. Admin.
Akwa Ibom State Government and Naval Shipyard Limited, a subsidiary of Nigerian Navy’s shipbuilding and maintenance, have signed an agreement for the construction of a 24-metre mild steel passenger/cruise ferry boat, for marine transportation in and around the State.
Speaking at a brief ceremony held at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Uyo, the State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, expressed satisfaction with the Navy-State Government collaboration for security and reinvention of marine transportation in the State, describing the agreement for marine transport infrastructure as a good way to end the year.
He welcomed the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla to the State, and pledged his administration’s commitment to partnering the Navy to further the aspirations of the ARISE Agenda.
According to him, “Our intention in line with the ARISE Agenda is to expand water transportation, support maritime security and see the best we can extract for the blue economy.
“We have plans to have a second one because we don’t want a down tie, so, maybe six months down the line, we should be able to place order for a smaller ferry, so that we can be sure that if one is for servicing, we can have others that can still run.”
Explaining why the State Executive Council chose the Nigerian Navy for the deal, Governor Eno said: “Besides the helpful synergy the government has enjoyed with the Navy, the deal was in line with the administration’s preference to invest in the domestic economy, and the hope that the Navy will ensure security for the ferry’s operation, given its stake.
“…many others bided for this job, but we have chosen the Nigerian Navy because, first, we want to encourage our local content, and we believe also, that the Nigerian Navy, being the manufacturer of the ferry, will provide the enabling environment for it to operate.”
In his remarks, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, commended Governor Eno on his ARISE Agenda implementation, affirming that some programmes captured in the agenda, especially in the area of security within the maritime environment, have begun to materialize.
He described the Governor’s venture into maritime transportation as pacesetting and beneficial to both the State and the entire South South region.
Highpoint of the event, was signing of the contractual agreement by the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Orman Esin, on behalf of the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Admiral Superintendent of the Naval Shipyard Limited, Rear Admiral Fredrick Damtong on behalf of the Nigerian Navy.