Bayelsa senator, Degi moves motion seeking establishment of national museum in Akassa

…as bill to establish ICT institute in Nembe passes second reading

Abuja—The Senator representing Bayelsa East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, has sponsored a motion in the Senate for the establishment of a National Museum Centre at the ancient Akassa Slave Trade Centre in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Degi-Eremienyo who moved the motion on Tuesday at the plenary said the establishment of the museum is to preserve national history and heritage.

The lawmaker, in his presentation, noted that Akassa is a settlement at the southernmost tip of Nigeria in Bayelsa State where the Nun River estuary meets the Atlantic Ocean, with a lighthouse that had stood since 1910.

Degi-Eremienyo said that due to the proximity of Akassa to the Atlantic, the settlement had always been a traditional trading site in Nigeria, especially in the business of palm oil trade during the colonial era.

He recalled that before the abolition of the slave trade, it was one of the major centers in the country where the harrowing effects of the transatlantic slave trade were experienced.

According to him, in the year 1899, the charter of the Royal Niger Company was revoked, an act is seen as partly a consequence of the war with the effect that from 1st January 1900 the company sold all its possessions and concessions in Africa to the British government for £865,000.

He stated that some of the relics of the slave trade such as slave houses; slave masters’ administrative blocks and quarters; slave jetty; slave transit tunnel; white-men graveyard, can still be found, even though erosion of past decades had eroded some of the antiquities.

The lawmaker observed that “with the current efforts made by the government to diversify our economy, the Akassa Town is a veritable historical/heritage center which will boost our tourism potentials and earn us foreign exchange if its heritage is well preserved.”

In a similar development, a bill seeking to establish the Institute of Information and Communication Technology Ogbolomabiri, Nembe in Bayelsa State sponsored by Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo has passed second reading in the Senate on Wednesday.

Degi in his lead debate said the bill will encourage the advancement of information, development, and technology.

Senator Sani Musa, senator representing Niger East Senatorial district seconded the bill, saying that the institute would bridge the lack of information technology in the country.

“I stand to support this Bill wholeheartedly because Nigeria is seriously lacking in the area of information technology. All the economies in the world are transforming and are taking cues from advancing technology.

“If you look at the stock exchange today, it’s IT-driven. So we cannot be left behind. For this country to develop its economy, we must embrace technology and give our youths that opportunity to be able to catch up with those that have gone ahead,” he said.

The bill after passing the second reading in the Senate was referred to the Committee on ICT and Cybersecurity for further legislative action to report back within four weeks.

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