Enugu eyes opportunities at Ogurugu jetty to boost economy

Enug state deputy governor, Barr. Ifeanyi Ossai (2nd left) and the chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla at the Ogurugu jetty facilities in Uzo-Uwani local government area of the state weekend.

*Navy quickens move to establish Naval base in Southeast state

Enugu State government has reiterated its resolve to harness the opportunities presented by the Ogurugu waterway and jetty to boost the state’s economy, ease transportation, and create employment.

This is just as the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, has assured of an expedited work on the proposed naval base in the coastal community to strengthen security and shore up investors’ confidence in the state.

The state governor, Dr Peter Mbah, stated this weekend during an inspection tour of facilities at Ogurugu jetty with the Chief of the Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla.

Governor Mbah, who was represented by his Deputy Governor, Barr Ifeanyi Ossai, further gave the government’s total support to the proposed naval base by the Navy.

The governor said: “The economy of Nigeria is essentially road-driven and that contributes to damage to our roads because no one measures the axle weight. But with the investment the Navy is trying to make in our waters, they can now police the navigable waterways, which is cheaper for the movement of goods and services. That was why the colonial companies like the UAC, John Holt, among others, used this place as a forwarding base for the trades they did have.

“So, what this will essentially do is that it will help to explode the economy of Enugu State. It is going to be a major contributor to growing our economy from $4.4 billion to $30 billion as we promised our people. It is going to enhance our planned special crop processing zone because for those heavy products, we have processed and we can’t fly from Enugu, we have an internal navigable water to move them to forward operating waters of the Atlantic.

“Therefore, as already stated at the Government House, we will give the Navy and indeed the federal government all the support to make the project happen in no distant time”.

The Chief of Naval Staff assured that expeditious action would be given to the setting up of the naval facilities, adding that the base would be of immense benefit not only to the Southeast region, but the North Central zone.

Ogalla also said that the activities of naval officers in the state would help reassure investors in the state of their security.

“The establishment of the naval base at Ogurugu community is going to be as quickly as possible. We have seen the facilities left behind by the federal government, which can serve as a starting point for us.

“We have seen the jetty also built by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), which is one of the most difficult aspects of establishing a naval base. The two important facilities are like springboards for setting up a naval base. So, I believe what we need is just to do the remaining paperwork, get all the necessary approvals, and within a short time, the naval base would be here because it is very important to our operations in the Southeast and the North Central also.

“The establishment of a naval base here is equally going to open up Ogurugu Port, which used to be a port during the colonial era, and by doing so, ease the pressure on our roads.

“By the time we are here, the investing general public will also have more confidence in using this waterway as a viable means of transportation.

“So, I believe that our presence here is very important. We are going to hasten it up in collaboration with the state government, which has given us immense support” the naval chief stated.


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