Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade has stated that the proposed Bakassi Deep Seaport will facilitate seamless maritime and shipping activities within the African sub region when completed.
The governor was speaking Monday at the Governor’s Conference Room, Governor’s Office, Calabar during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state government and Terradyn Corporation of Ohio, United States of America, for the financing of the port’s construction.
Describing the port as a regional African port, and the deepest port in Africa, governor Ayade stressed that the Bakassi Deep Seaport was not only geared towards opening an alternative maritime corridor for Nigeria, which according to him, the country is in dire need of, but also designed to ease shipping and maritime difficulties of neighbouring landlocked African countries.
He disclosed that the Republic of Chad was already disposed to having a bonded warehouse within the princint of the Bakassi Deep Sea port.
The governor said that the 274 kilometre Superhighway linking Cross River to the Northern part of the country was conceived with the Bakassi Deep seaport in mind.
His words: “If you have a Deep Seaport without a Superhighway, you are wasting your time. Nigeria basically needs an alternative maritime corridor. Nigeria is in dire need of an alternative maritime corridor. Every Nigerian who loves this country knows that Nigeria is in desperate need of of an alternative maritime corridor to be able to provide the posterity agenda that we profess to our people.
“Today in Nigeria, we don’t have a port in the category of a deep seaport. The Bakassi Deep Seaport is the first Deep Seaport in Nigeria. It is a 20 metres draft port, one of the biggest port in Africa.”
He assured of his administration and federal government’s commitment to ensuring that the port comes to fruition.
“It takes at least 15 years to obtain an OBC approval for the construction of a seaport but it took Cross River only three years. This shows strong will and commitment by the federal government to support the Bakassi Deep Seaport.
“The Bakassi Deep Seaport is not a Cross River Port. It is not a Nigerian port. It is indeed a regional African port. It will serve Africa.”
Earlier, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Terradyn, Mr.Brent Dyke commended governor Ayade’s foresight in conceptualizing the port project.
He described Nigeria as ” a very very fortunate country blessed with abundant natural resources.”