– To Creat 30,000 Jobs
IThe must are do Cross River seaport may have seem to be reactivated as signaled that both the Federal Government and Cross River State have perfected plans to begin the construction of a deep seaport.
The project which due to starts in July 2018,if completed is expected to serve as an alternative to Lagos port and create at least 30,000 direct jobs for Nigerians.
Cross River State Governor,Ben Ayade who disclosed this, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday,said the situation where the Lagos port serves as the only major port to bring in goods into the country is not good for the country.
Ayade pointed out that an alternative port such as the one being proposed would reduce the cost of shipments,especially from Senegal and Togo to Nigeria.
“The President made a commitment that Cross River deep seaport and supper high way would be commissioned in his tenure.
“We have an understanding to be updating Mr President of progress reports,basically the efforts made so far concerning the project.
“We see the project kicking off in the next three or four months with the speed and tempo, I am getting from the government.
“For the deep seaport and super highway, we have made substantial progress because specific locations have been outlined.
“When completed,it is going to be a place where all modern vessels will pass and it will create at least 30,000 jobs.
“Cross River has 20,000 square kilometers of land mass, it would cause an expansion of Cross River State and that will change the complete economics and business activities of the state.
“The highway and deep seaport will benefit states like Kogi, Nasarawa, because without a deep seaport, it will be almost impossible to exploit the iron ore export in those states.
“Those who understand what a federal structure looks like would appreciate what having a coastline in the North and South regions of Nigeria.
Governor was of the opinion that having one major port in Lagos and another in Calabar will feed the North East and North Central from Calabar and North West and Middle Belt from Lagos state.
“This was how they originally designed this country to be. A situation where we have only one gateway into the country, Lagos port, it is strategically wise to have an alternative and that alternative port coming bigger and better would cut the cost of shipment coming from Senegal and Togo to Nigeria.
“So, modern vessels and post panama vessels will be coming straight into Nigeria and berth at Calabar and for those who are into core business of mining can ship in their produce and products straight into this super highway through the deep seaport and export,”the governor noted.
According to Ayade, infrastructural development was an effective means for Nigeria to take advantage of her solid mineral deposits.
The Governor said,”In all my travels across the world, looking for sponsorship for these projects, one thing I made clear to all investors was that only the existence of super highway to Nigeria would make Nigeria take advantage of her solid mineral deposit.
“It was ordinarily supposed to be a federal project. That is why I focus more on getting international support and investors, and they are coming in numbers, but the approvals which I need from the federal government for the investors to take their final decisions, that is why I am always in touch with Mr President to ensure I get all the support and the President has been giving me that support”.