Preliminary work is expected to kick-off at the Bakassi Deep Seaport as the Cross River State Government and China Harbour Company signed a construction agreement last week.
The state Governor, Dr. Ben Ayade during the ceremony which was held in his Council Chambers expressed optimism that the deep seaport will create a new narrative in merchandise and international trade.
Lamenting what he described as unfair treatment in the hands of federal authorities that led to the loss of Bakassi to the Cameroon, Ayade said the deep seaport, the superhighway and the power generation projects when completed will make the state one of the investment hubs of Africa. The governor urged the North-Central and North-Eastern states in the country to support the project and see them as part of their own. He explained that this was because of the short distance to the seaport for those in the North as against Lagos seaports.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for all the support he has given to the state by citing Bakassi seaport in the state, adding that this was a divine compensation for the people of the state who have been deprived of their land.
Ayade explained that the signing of the agreement showed that the signature project will soon commence.
The Managing Director of China Harbour Engineering Company, Mr. Zhang Wenteng, gave every assurance that his company will not disappoint the state and will deliver high quality job.
The governor had on the occasion said that the state had been treated unfairly in the Nigerian project through several ways of marginalisation and unjust treatments.
He regretted the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula, loss of 76 oil wells and the delisting of Cross River from the 13 per cent derivation, adding “the situation has reduced the state to lack and want in body and soul and a weeping child of the nation.”
He said that his administration has in turn resorted to creating alternative source of income, describing the Bakassi Deep Seaport as strategic for security and economic reasons.