By Jonathan Ugbal; Government House Correspondent
The promise by the Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade that he will not require the state resources to finance his proposed signature projects seem to be taking shape gradually with the involvement of private investors who say they are confident that the governor has demonstrated enough clout and political will to push through with the seemingly impossible ideas.
In a courtesy call today to the governor’s office in Calabar today, Mr. Mr Michael Le Havre, CEO of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services Limited, an Isreali firm with over 30 years experience in project financing, energy/power, civil engineering/agriculture presented to the governor, a document which they say grants their firm mandate to fund the governor’s signature projects, which include a state owned Seaport, a 240km superhighway from Calabar to Obudu and cement/mining corporation, to the tune of 500 Million Euro.
According to Mr. Le Havre, “Your (Cross River State) part of the financial involvement will be very minimal.”
He asked the state government to issue a bank guarantee to her bank so that work can begin in earnest while legal agreements were been discussed by the legal teams.
He further disclosed that 500million Euros has already been voted in favor of the projects from their account with Deutsche Bank which he is signatory to.
The investors led by Michael Le Havre of Broad Spectrum Industrial Services met with the state team led by Governor Benedict Ayade in the conference room of the governor’s office in Calabar where he disclosed they were interested in the project which the governor stressed was not a loan.
Governor Ayade in his response maintained that “This is not a debt, this is not a loan but project financing and the project has the capacity to pay back by itself. The state has meticulously studied the projects and concluded they will add value to the lives of Cross Riverians as the seaport and evacuation corridor will be serving not just Nigerians but landlocked countries like Niger and Chad with deep dredging to be carried out to accommodate mother vessels.” He said.
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