The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has said that the 274km superhighway and the Bakassi Deep Seaport projects being undertaken by the Prof Ben Ayade-led Government in Cross River State are critical infrastructures required for sustainable development.
A statement endorsed by Special Adviser, Media to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Ricer State, Christian Ita, stated that the SGF made the remarks while speaking to journalists recently after receiving Governor Ayade in his office.
The statement added that the SGF lauded the governor’s commitment to transforming the Cross River state, saying “Ayade has taken Cross River to greater heights.”
Boss Mustapha who recalled his visit to Calabar two years ago, said he was impressed with work at the rice seeds and seedlings factory, garment factory and calachika while describing Ayade as one with a progressive mindset.
“The PDP was just a platform. He has always been a progressive. If you followed his trend even as a PDP governor, he had a progressive mindset. He has taken Cross River to greater heights. I had the privilege of visiting Calabar two years ago, I visited the rice seeds and seedlings complex, I visited the garment factory and saw the work that was being done there. I also saw the poultry plant. That is the way to go,” the SGF was quoted to have said.
According to the SGF, Governor Ayade had expressed a strong desire for a partnership between the Federal Government and Cross River State towards ensuring the fruition of laudable projects like the superhighway and the Bakassi deep seaport, submitting that the twin signature projects were critical infrastructures required for sustainable development.
According to him, “now is the time to really facilitate the development of SMEs for job creation so we can set our people on a trajectory of sustainable growth. We need a lot of SMEs to enable us to lift a hundred million people out of poverty. SMEs development is a driving force for economic growth and job creation and governor Ayade is equally committed to this.”
Earlier, the governor said he visited the SGF to discuss modalities to develop a collective structure through which Cross River can properly socket to the centre while describing the SGF as the hub of the Buhari administration and the “socketing point.
“One of the key things I discussed with the SGF was the superhighway. The superhighway is a policy thrust to take the Atlantic Ocean closer to Northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria is blessed with so many solid minerals. Crude oil is a thing of the past because, by 2030, there might be an end to fossil fuel-driven cars and petrol may equally come to an end. The world is shifting towards solid minerals. You must have access to the Atlantic Ocean to enable you the opportunity to do export in order to have the full beneficiation of the solid minerals deposit in the North. The superhighway creates that catalytic harmony that allows the North to enjoy the privilege of their natural deposit, with unhindered access to the deep seaport that allows them to export”.
The governor, who disclosed that the Bakassi deep seaport had been approved by the Federal Government as the first Agro-Industrial Port in Nigeria, urged the Federal Government to support the project while soliciting the buy-in of Northern Nigeria, as the export processing port, with a corresponding superhighway, is not just like a Cross River project but also a project that would benefit the North and expand frontiers of business and economic growth.
“The superhighway starts from the Bakassi deep seaport and ends in Northern Nigeria. There is a huge coal deposit in North-central that is unharvested. South Africa today is having a problem with power because their coal mines have gone too deep and keep collapsing. All their power plants are based on coal. So, they want to come to Nigeria and export coal. They need the coal deposit which we have in excess in the North. Unfortunately, you can’t harvest the coal when you don’t have access to a maritime domain or corridor. Definitely, the superhighway and the deep seaport is the way to go,” Ayade reiterated.