Cross River gets approval to construct seaport

Shiktra Shalangwa, Abuja

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The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade (right) receiving the Outline Business Case, OBC, certificate from the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi (centre).

The Cross River State government has been issued the Outline Business Case, OBC, certificate for the construction of its deep seaport.

The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, who came for the Outline Business Case at the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, said the certificate would enable the State move on to the next level of implementation of the seaport.

Commitment
Mr Ayade, who was received at the Federal Ministry of Transportation by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said, “The certificate is an Outline Business Case. It shows that there is a full densification commitment of the Nigerian Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation to say yes we have come to recognise and accept that Cross River State Government should go ahead with the Full Business Case towards the construction of a deep seaport.

“And the emphasis on the deep seaport is agro-industrial, not exclusively, but to show that the core target is to do an agro-industrial transformation of Nigeria. It will be the major leading port in that respect but will have other industrial parks.”

He said the issuance of the OBC by the Nigerian Government through its Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission was the fastest ever recorded in Nigeria.

On when actual construction would commence at the seaport, Ayade said, “Work started there more than six months ago when we got the EIA approval which allowed us the legal right to get access to the ocean. 

“But right now with this OBC certificate, we are going to be dealing directly with the concessionaires towards arriving at the specific location, data and commencement of actual work plans. But that can only come with the FBC.”

‘Next step of Action’
The Minister of Transportation stated that with the OBC, the State would move on to the next step of action.

He said, “What they’ve got right now is the OBC. We will take the next move to verify all the necessary instruments that we need and then proceed back to the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission for the FBC before we go to cabinet for approval. 

“But the most important thing is that we are speeding it up so as to enable those States who want to invest in seaports and others to go ahead and do so.”

On whether the Nigerian Government was partnering Cross River State in the deep seaport, Amaechi added, “We will get to that. We will sit down with the Cross River State Government and their major partners and see how much Nigerian Port Authority would want to invest.”

 

Sammie Idika