The Federal Govern
ment has lauded Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State for his foresight in embarking on the Bakassi Deep Seaport project, describing it as a worthy venture that will impact positively on the economic life of the country.
The Chairman, Steering and Implementation Committee for the Deep Seaport and Director Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Alhaji Sani Galadanchi, stated this recently when he led other members of the committee on a courtesy visit to Government House in Calabar.
Galadanchi commended Governor Ayade “on his vision to diversify the economy of the state from its dependence on the monthly revenue from the Federation Accourt, saying this is in line with the Federal Government’s desire in moving the maritime sector forward.”
Restating the Federal Government’s readiness to partner with Cross River State Government and other stakeholders for the actualisation of the project, Galadanchi pointed out that the realisation of the deep seaport would result in an improved national supply chain, industrial capacity utilisation and huge employment opportunities.
The chairman, while regretting the delay in constituting the steering committee, said it was not intentional, just as he attributed the development to an earlier misunderstanding on the part of the officials from the state in the build-up to the constitution and inauguration of the committee.
He listed the mandate of the committee to include, preparation of preliminary project feasibility/ proposal, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), work plans for project implementation and indicative budget for the project development as well as funding structure.
He assured that the committee would do all within its power to ensure the actualisation of the project in conformity with the nation’s Ports Master Plan.
In his response, Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, thanked the Honourable Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for setting up the steering committee for immediate take-off of the deep seaport project, saying the port is a life-wire of his administration.
“We want to deliver on our signature projects which include the Bakassi Deep seaport that you are currently here to finalise modalities for takeoff, the 260 km superhighway that will serve as an evacuation corridor,”
While restating the state’s willingness to comply with the recommendation of the committee in executing the project, Gov. Ayade noted that “his government was ready to work with the stakeholders in the maritime industry as well as other relevant Federal Government agencies as stipulated by law to ensure the takeoff of the project.
“Bakassi Deep Seaport is very significant to us. In fact, it is the hemoglobin in the blood. So, if it does not succeed, our dream of transforming the socio-economic landscape of this state will be a mirage,” he said.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar