Cross River State, particularly the Calabar and its environment will heave a sigh of relief as the Board and management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has indicated interest to partner Cross River state government, in the creation of 14.5km access way from Calabar to the Bakassi Deep seaport.
Chairman, Governing Board of NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, disclosed this recently, at the state Executive chambers, Calabar when he led the team on a maiden courtesy visit to the Cross River governor, Prof Ben Ayade.
“We are willing to partner with member States on projects of their choice and it is the governors that determines the priority of those projects. For Cross River, their priorities are very clear, the deep seaport and the superhighway and we as a commission are willing to partner with the state on the access to the deep seaport,”Ndoma-Egba maintained.
Affirming that the commission has agreed in principles to partner with the state government to actualize the feat, the NDDC chairman said, “By next week, the MD will be sending a team to sit down with the Cross River government to work out the details.”
Explaining that the Deep seaport remains a major project that has very positive impact on the socioeconomic life of not just Calabar, but Cross River and the entire region, MD of the Board, Obong Nsima Ekere said, “we have identified that the quick driver that will kick start this project is the access road and so we have agreed with the state government,” adding that,
“We will establish a team that will get the design and immediately embark on the construction of the dualized road from Calabar to the Bakassi Deep seaport.
Continuing, Ekere intoned that, “the Commission will look at the drawings to see whether there are any additions or subtractions that would have to be made and whatever our consultants say, we are sure we can begin work as soon as possible.”
On the proposed NDDC Bank planned to be sited in Calabar, the Commission MD, disclosed that, “we already have a project manager working on the Bank. This is one of the signature projects of the present Management and Board of NDDC, the details are still being worked out but Cross River and indeed Calabar presents a very serene environment that will be able to host the headquarter of the Bank.”
Responding, the governor, Prof Ben Ayade, applauded the team which he described as, “young, smart and intelligent people who can see tomorrow,” adding that the visit has culminated in the landmark achievement for a formal partnership between the state and NDDC.
Ayade said, “for the people of Cross River and indeed Nigeria, we like to specially thank Mr. President and NDDC for making a choice to take the most challenging part of this Deep seaport project, the access road from Calabar to Bakassi which is about 14.5kms and the most difficult in terms of engineering construction.”
Continuing, the governor intimated that, “NDDC will send a team of Engineers to review the design we have made with a view to taking over that component of the job and help us deliver on that,” adding that, “once that is done by NDDC in partnership with Cross River government, the Bakassi Deep seaport is a done deal because that access is the greatest nightmare in the entire design of the 275kms.”
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