by crossriverwatch admin
The Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi-Otu V has said that several unfulfilled promises by the federal government on the dredging of the Calabar waterway, and which by extension should lead to improved economic activities in the Calabar port, was giving him sleepless night.
The Monarch, who made the remarks in his palace in Calabar, Wednesday, while receiving members of the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority said his people were very disappointed that the port has been allowed to rot despite promises by successive Nigerian governments.
“We have been crying for the dredging of Calabar River for many years, but it seems this issue has been politicized. With the strategic location of Calabar at the Gulf of Guinea, vessels should be coming in and out of the port. If the Calabar port operates today at full capacity, the north eastern states of the country would also benefit handsomely.
“It would take a shorter distance to get your goods from Calabar to Maiduguri than going to Lagos or any other port in the country. I appeal to this committee to impress it upon government on the need to, besides dredging the waterway, have a standard dualized road from Katsina -Ala to Calabar and to cause the port to work so as to boost economic activities of our people.
“What crime have my people committed that this issue has dragged on for this long? It looks as if we are not part of this country. Government should give us a sense of belonging. Let me believe that this time around, there would be a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Board, Chief Tony Anenih, who was represented by Senator Florence Ita-Giwa had emphasized that both President Goodluck Jonathan and the NPA board, which was constituted recently, were passionate about the workability of the Calabar port.
The Chairman disclosed that whatever bottleneck that had impeded the operations of the Calabar port was being tackled frontally, emphasizing that before the expiration of the tenure of the present NPA board, Calabar port should operate in full capacity.
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