The Cross River State government thursday signed a construction agreement for preliminary works at the Bakassi deep seaport with China Harbour Company.
The Bakassi Deep Seaport project which is one of the signature projects of governor Ayade is expected to serve the North-eastern part of the country as well as Chad Republic and Niger.
China Harbour is a state owned company in China with strong expertise in construction and drainage.
Speaking at the contract signing ceremony at the executive council chamber of the Governorâ€™s Office in Calabar, Governor Ben Ayade who disclosed the motivation for the deep seaport, decried the unfair treatment which the state has suffered in the hands of the Federal authorities in the wake of the loss of Bakassi to the Cameroon.
His words: â€œThe state had been treated unfairly in the Nigerian project through several ways of marginalisation and unjust treatments.â€
Ayade who also regretted the ceding of Bakassi Peninsula, loss of 76 oil wells as well as the delisting of Cross River from the 13 per cent derivation, said â€œthe situation has reduced the state to lack and want in body and soul and a weeping child of the nation.â€
According to him, his administration had been in desperate need of creating an alternative source of income for the state in spite of the set back, adding that â€œthe Bakassi Deep Seaport is strategic for security and economic reasons.â€
To this end, he said â€œthe â€œBakassi Deep Seaport will create a new narrative in merchandise and International trade in efficient ort management system.â€
The governor expressed optimism that when the Bakassi deep seaport, the superhighway and the power generation projects are completed, Cross River will be one of the investment hubs of Africa.
He urged both the North-central and North-eastern parts of the country to key into the projects and take them as their own because of the short distance it would take to access the port than going to Lagos.
Ayade praised President Muhammadu Buhari for the support he has been giving to the state, stressing that the citing of the port in Bakassi was a divine compensation for a people who have been deprived of their land.
According to Ayade, the signing of the development agreement between the state government and the Chinese company signaled the commencement of the beginning of the signature project.
Earlier, the Managing Director of China Harbour Engineering Company, Mr Zhang Wenteng, assured the governor that the company will deliver high quality of work, assuring that they wonâ€™t disappoint the state and the country.