The Cross River governor has stated that the proposed Bakassi Deep Seaport will facilitate seamless maritime and shipping activities within the African sub-region when completed.
Professor Ben Ayade spoke recently at the 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 geared towards opening an alternative maritime corridor for Nigeria.
According to him, since the country is in dire need of the maritime corridor, the seaport is therefore 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 precinct of the Bakassi Deep Seaport.
The governor said that the 274 km 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.
"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 ports in Africa.â€
He assured of his administration and Federal Government's commitment to ensuring that the port comes to fruition.
Ayade further disclosed that "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.â€
The chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Terradyn, Mr Brent Dyke, commended Ayade for the foresight in conceptualizing the port project.
He described Nigeria as "a very fortunate country blessed with abundant natural resources.â€