The Governor of Cross River State, Southern Nigeria, Dr Ben Ayade says he is working seriously with the federal government to ensure that the construction of the State Seaport Project and the Super Highway Projects are completed and commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari within the next three years.
He was speaking to State House Correspondents after meeting with President Buhari where he briefed him on the progress of work so far.
He said the harbor of the Deep Seaport Project is to be constructed by a Chinese firm.
He stated that the environmental impact assessment has been done in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment so that the need for development does not over shadow and compromise the environment.
Governor Ayade said “the formal presentation of the projects to the Federal Executive Council will soon take place. As a coastline state with a seaport of 14.5 meter draft which is the deepest in Nigeria, it is going to be definitely a place where all modern vessels will berth and that will create at least 30,000 jobs.”
Commenting on the correlation between the Deep seaport and the super High way, Governor Ben Ayade said “the Super Highway evacuating route to the deep seaport is going to benefit more importantly, solid mineral producing states of Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue and Taraba because without a deep seaport and evacuation corridor with a light rail running a long side, it will be almost impossible to explore iron ore deposits in these areas.”
The governor observed that there are congestions in Lagos because of concentration of seaports there.
In offering solutions he suggested that, “a situation where we have only one gateway into this country, every port is Lagos. So it is just strategically wise for us to have an alternative port and the alternative port coming deeper and bigger, will stop the cost transshipment that occurs from Senegal and Lome into Nigeria. And for those who are into core business of mining in northern Nigeria, they can ship in their produce straight into the port through the super highway.”