The commencement of construction work on the Bakassi deep seaport, received a boost at the weekend with the conclusion of arrangements in far away China by the Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade with some Chinese investors.
Ayade, who flew into China with some of his commissioners and advisers a few hours after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock, last Tuesday on the project, met with investors in Changsha and Hanan in Hunan Province.
Following the outcome of the meetings, Ayade said construction work on the seaport, which will be the deepest in the country, will soon commence.
The proposed seaport with a draft of over 16ft, enjoys the support of President Buhari, who, during the flag-off of the 260km superhighway, the evacuation corridor for the seaport, promised to help with its actualisation. Recently, the Federal Government gave approval to the Cross River State to procure a transaction advisor for the project. This was after the Federal Ministry of Transport had set up an advisory and implementation committee for the project.
Ayade recently visited the president to discuss, among other things, the proposed Bakassi deep seaport project and the 260-kilometre superhighway estimated to cost about N700 billion.
The deep seaport will boost the export of produce such as rice and banana as well as solid minerals.
The governor was also quoted to have said the deep seaport would not compete with existing Calabar port, but would complement it because the Bakassi port would be a 16 metres draft and will accommodate mother vessels, especially from the Far East.
Ayade had, last year, said the deep seaport had received presidential nod.
“Even in the face of several challenges and the fear that this project was impossible, the president has kept giving me proper encouragement and I am happy to acknowledge that,” he said during the official visit of the managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
Photo caption: Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade flanked by (from left) Wang Zeal Huan, Senior Economist, International Banking Dept, Huan Regional Headquarters, Liu Yabin, International Banking Manager, Zhao yi, Senior manager, Export and Equipment Division after a meeting with Sino Sure in Changsha, China at the weekend