The Bakassi Deep Seaport project embarked upon by the Cross River State Government has received a major boost following the approval by the federal government through the Ministry of Transport for the procurement of a Transaction Adviser.
Governor Ben Ayade dropped the hint during a retreat organised by the state government for political appointees at the prestigious Obudu Ranch Resort. Ayade who could not hide his excitement while breaking the news to his appointees, also disclosed that the Nigeria Customs Service has equally given the state clearance for the direct berthing of vessels at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort.
The development is aimed at restoring the status of the facility as a Free Trade Zone Enterprise (FTZE).
According to the governor, “the journey towards setting up a deep seaport in the ears and eyes of ordinary person from our perspective, is impossible because it requires multi-billion dollars for the project to be executed.
“Today, I am so excited to announce to you that the federal government under the instrumentality of the Federal Ministry of Transport has granted us approval for the procurement of a Transaction Adviser for our Bakassi Deep Seaport.”
While recalling the setback that had befallen Tinapa which has rendered the facility near atrophy, considering the huge investment by the state, Ayade stated: “Remember also that we had problems with Tinapa, it was supposed to be a tax haven to improve businesses and increase investment profile and of course encourage traffic into the state, a great conception as it were.”
Continuing, he said: “But for sometimes now, we been having difficulties in bringing in vessels but after my fruitful engagement with the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), he gave a marching order and approval granted that vessels can now come straight to Tinapa unhindered.”
Ayade enjoined political office holders, whom, he noted, are key drivers of government programmes and policies to reinvent themselves and see the current economic reality as an opportunity to create new vista for job and wealth creation.