Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, has said that four international companies with expertise in deep seaport have indicated their interest to invest in the Bakassi Deep Seaport being developed by the state government.
Briefing journalists in Calabar on his return from an extensive working trip to 11 countries in Europe, Asia and South America, the governor said it was imperative that he undertook the trip as he seeks to ramp up the economy of the state.
Ayade explained that “In recognising the challenges that we have as a country, and of course, with the meltdown in the global economy, it is evident that only states that globalise their economy can move forward. So what I have done is to go round the world in order to source a team of investors and bring them to Cross River State. What you are going to see in a couple of months is a team of investors arriving the state.”
Noting that Cross River offers special appeal as an investment destination, Ayade added that as evidence of the uniqueness of the state as an investment hub, “some teams had arrived the state during my absence to do final detailed analysis and feasibility studies to be able to come back with vigor to invest in the state. You will soon be seeing investors pouring in to finalise the discussions we had overseas.”
The governor, who said he did a lot of presentations to several groups in Switzerland and China, disclosed that “When I finished the presentations of our potential in the deep seaport, they obviously knew that it was an opportunity for them to invest.
“When I did another presentation to another team in Belgium, they were fighting among themselves as to who will take over the project. In fact, they were so excited to take over.” he said.
According to Ayade, “As I speak to you today, I have four major port companies that are dying to take the project even if Cross River State has no dime.”
Ayade noted that though Cross River receives very little from the federation account, “yet we were one of the few state that paid salaries before Easter. This is an indication that we have the capacity and the vision to move the state beyond money by using our intellect and fear of God.”
The proposed development of a deep sea port in Bakassi, has the potential to turn around the economic circumstances of the state and bring hope and prosperity to, the people of Bakassi.
The project is expected to create thousands of jobs for the citizens, generate revenue for the state and serve as a channel of international trade between Nigeria and the rest of the world.
The Bakassi Deep Sea Port is a huge project and is proposed as a public private partnership with the Private sector driving the project. Due to its capacity to improve the living condition of the people of Bakassi in particular and Cross River State in general, the state government attaches great significance to the Bakassi Deep Sea Port Project.