The construction of the Bakassi Deep Seaport, a signature project of Governor Ben Ayade, recently attained a major milestone with the signing of the transaction advisory agreement for the Full Business Case between the Cross River State Government and CPCS Transcom Limited of Canada.
Under the terms of the agreement, CPCS is expected to deploy its vast international expertise in the areas of transaction structuring, public-private partnerships (PPP), financial and economic modeling, as well as engineering and social and environmental advisory in the execution of the project.
To ensure compliance with the local content policy of the state government, 15 young Cross Riverians are to be engaged by the firm.
Speaking after signing the agreement on behalf of the the state government, Governor Ayade said the development “marks the beginning of the realization of the Bakassi Deep Seaport with an evacuation corridor stretching from Bakassi to northern Nigeria.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister for Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission for the support given to the project.
Ayade said the project and 275km superhighway are two projects that would crystallise the prospects and prosperity agenda he envisions for the state.
The 21 meters draft seaport, according to him, would be successful given its location, insisting it would get additional impetus from the viability of the Gulf of Guinea and its maritime corridor.
He also said that “the port creates an opportunity for the President of Nigeria to start thinking security-wise and strategically too, on the need for us to have strategic reserves for our petroleum products, on the need for us to have strategic food reserves because strategic reserves are normally situated around the ports so as to allow for the densification of storage in the event of crisis, war or famine.
“So, I believe that this port will play a critical role. Youth restiveness, youth unemployment, kidnapping, radicalism and all those extreme vices that have characterised the Nigerian state for a while will completely go down when this project comes to fruition because indeed, this port is not a Cross River port, it is a Nigeria port, a Gulf of Guinea port. For emphasis, therefore, it is basically targeted at Northern Nigeria.
“Let me us this opportunity therefore to call on all the elders of Northern Nigeria extraction to realise that their vast wealth in terms of mineral deposits ranging from tantalite to iron ore to cobalt to bauxite to coal amongst others will come to nothing unless you have access to a sea port.