BUHARI APPROVES CROSS RIVER’S BAKASSI DEEP SEAPORT PROJECT
President Muhammadu Buhari recently gave the clearest indication of his support for the Bakassi Deep Seaport
Project of the Cross River State Government with the issuance by the Federal Government of an Outline Business Case (OBC) certificate for the project. The Minister for Transportation, Chief Rotimi Amaechi presented the certificate on behalf of the Federal Government to the Cross River State Governor, Sir Ben Ayade at the ministry’s Abuja headquarters. Amaechi stated that with the OBC, the state would move on to the next step of action. He said: “What they (Cross River) have got right now is the OBC. We will take the next move to verify all the necessary instruments that we need and then proceed back to the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for the FBC (Full Business Case) before we go to the cabinet for approval.
“But the most important thing is that we are speeding it up so as to enable those states who want to invest in seaports and others to go ahead and do so,” he explained. On whether the Federal Government was partnering Cross
River State in the deep seaport, Amaechi said, “We will get to that. We will sit down with the Cross River State
Government and their major partners and see how much NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority) would want to invest. We
will contact NPA and see what it can do.” Speaking on the development, Ayade said the certificate would enable the state move on to the next level of implementation of the seaport. His words: “The certificate is an Outline Business
Case. It shows that there is a full densification commitment of the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation to say yes we have come to recognize and accept that Cross River State Government should go ahead with the Full Business Case towards the construction of a deep seaport.
“And the emphasis on the deep seaport is agroindustrial, not exclusively, but to show that the core target is to do an agroindustrial transformation of Nigeria. It will be the major leading port in that respect but will have other industrial parks.” He said the issuance of the OBC by the Federal Government through its Infrastructure Concession
and Regulatory Commission was the fastest ever recorded in Nigeria. On when actual construction would commence at the seaport, Ayade said, “Work started there more than six months ago when we got the EIA approval which
allowed us the legal right to get access to the ocean. “But right now with this OBC certificate, we are going to be dealing directly with the concessionaires towards arriving at the specific location, data and commencement of actual
work plans. But that can only come with the FBC.”>>>