By Essien Inyang
Functional and reliable ferry transportation services between Akwa Ibom State and the Republic of Cameroon will soon take off to ease the current water transportation inconveniences experienced by Nigerian travelers and their Cameroonian counterparts on that sea route.
Governor Udom Emmanuel announced the cheering news to a cross section of Akwa Ibom State indigenes residing in Cameroon, during an interaction with them in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital. He stated that the ferry service would go through the Atlantic waterways, to berth at Oron sea port, in the state.
The governor explained that the idea for the state government’s intervention, was to put an end to incessant reports of boat mishaps with attendant casualties involving Nigerians, particularly those from Akwa Ibom, who have been engaging in legitimate businesses across the Atlantic Ocean on regular bases, noting that the use of smaller private boats were usually at the risk of lives of the passengers and their operators, by the rough sea waves.
Deacon Emmanuel said that appropriate modalities and discussions between the state Ministry of Transport and the transnational agencies, were in top gear for the commencement of the ferry services, using large water vessels, “in no distance time.’’
He noted with delight, the existing cordial relationships between the people of Akwa Ibom in Cameroon, their hosts and other nationals, “in spite of your language and cultural differences”, and urged them to “sustain the mutual relationships and understanding for the enhancement of your social and economic pursuits”, as he enumerated some of his administration’s “popular projects” in the state, aimed at transforming the lives of Akwa Ibomites, to them.
In his address, the spokesman for the people of Akwa Ibom in Cameroon, Mr. Andrew Essien, expressed the indigenes’ appreciation to Gov. Udom Emmanuel, for using the opportunity of his visit to the neighbouring country to visit and interact with them, stating that the visit had given them “a deep sense of belonging and knowledge about the development strides back home.”
Mr. Essien stated that the courage and determination of the state government to embark on the people-oriented policies and projects were indications of reducing unemployment and poverty, to boost the economy of the state and Nigeria at large.
He assured the governor that the people of Akwa Ibom in the Republic of Cameroon would continue to live in peace and harmony with their hosts, and other nationals there, while relating closely with the home government, for sustainable development.