Transportation is a very important sector in the economic development of any state, hence, the heavy investment in this sector by both developed and developing economies of the world. Transportation, no doubt, eases the mobility and movement of people in any given society.
This critical sector which is also responsible for the movement of goods and services from one place to the other has no doubt caught the attention of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led government in Rivers State.
The Wike administration is taking the bull by the horn and tackling head on the challenges facing this sector in the State. The policy thrust of Wike’s administration on transport is to focus on investments that will not only create but also maintain an adequately functional, yet efficient transport system that will stimulate economic growth in the state.
The peculiar terrain of the State, taken into cognizance highlights the fact that just road network will not take the State to the promised land bearing in mind that the looming factor of marine transportation and its attendant facilities will also have to be given its right of place, a situation which the administration has taken proper note of, hence, the construction of various jetties in different locations.
The most popular of these jetties which can also access virtually most of the riverine communities in not only the State but also Bayelsa State is the Bille, Bonny, Nembe Jetty located at Creek Road in Port Harcourt.
This jetty will obviously improve and ease marine transportation difficulties in the riverine communities of Bille in Kalabari as well as Bonny and Nembe in Bayelsa State. This jetty is the gateway to the three mentioned communities.
The jetty had been abandoned for a while and wore a dilapidated look before the current face lift it is enjoying. This underscores the administration’s desire to invest massively in the transport Infrastructure, all in an effort to boost the economy of the state domiciled in these difficult terrains. The Bille, Bonny, Nembe Jetty will effectively link these three and other riverine locations by increasing the effectiveness of transportation in the area and also increase the value of transportation.
Freight movements of passengers will be improved, so also will the performance, the cost of transportation be reduced, so also will the time spent while transporting be reduced. All these will definitely increase the contribution of the sector to the overall economic growth of the state.
Even the Okrika Jetty and the Nembe Jetty will reduce a lot of loss and damages while promoting the reliability of the movement of goods and services from these mentioned areas to other areas.
The jetties will guarantee access to wider markets, thereby making prices of goods and services more competitive and this, of course, comes with its attendant advantages.
Based on this access to a larger market, productivity will increase and there will be more diverse inputs in areas such as labour, energy, materials, raw and finished, just to mention a few.
Investment in the transport sector is a win-win affair, hence, the need to guarantee good infrastructure in this sector. This administration is keying into this fact, the resilient effort to develop riverine transportation and other related infrastructure has manifested not only in the jetties but also in the reclamation and dredging of scarce land in communities such as Ogu where dredging and reclamation are in progress.
Development efforts in Ogu community before now were constrained due to inadequate lands, so, Governor Wike came up with a dredging contract to reclaim land for development for Ogu people. In the same vein, Bakana community which is also riverine is enjoying the dredging and reclamation benefits.
In Abalama, a community in Asari-Toru Local Government Area, not only were the lands dredged and reclaimed but the shores were also protected and more lands for development were retrieved. Government presence will no doubt be felt in these communities.
The Okrika Jetty, which was the taking off and landing point for marine transporters before onward movement to the other towns and villages surrounding Okrika had over time collapsed and was left to rot, apart from the few iron rods still standing then, there was no semblance of a jetty before the present administration decided to reconstruct and restore the jetty to its former glory. This has offered the people the opportunity to enjoy the facilities provided by the jetty as well as the services provided by the structure.
The construction of the multi-million Naira jetty was embarked upon in 2016, the first year of the present administration. This very important marine transport facility has been completed and has so far enhanced the socio-economic development of the Okrika community and also given the surrounding environment a beautiful outlook.
There is also the Ndoni shoreline protection, an obviously very relevant project to secure and protect the Ndoni community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area from the encroachment of the River Niger. This had obviously been a very sore point with the people of Ndoni.
This massive project covers five communities in the area, namely, Obiefu, Isukwa, Aze-Azaga, Owikwu and Utu, all in the Ndoni area of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA.
The above mentioned projects are also to ensure the safety, protection and easy movement on waterways and the marine transport sector of the State. This further buttresses His Excellency’s desire and vision to build a state that is secure and prosperous with boundless opportunities for everyone.
This is just the beginning as the riverine areas of the state will be wearing a new look at the end of this administration’s tenure.