By Our Correspondent
Cross River State governor, Senator Ben Ayade has assured private investors that the proposed Calabar Deep Seaport would be ready for use in 18 months.
Governor Ayade gave the assurance yesterday on the occasion of the official commissioning of the 40 million litres capacity tank farm, FYNFIELD Petroleum, at the Calabar Free Trade Zone.
He said his administration is desirous of creating a conducive environment for private sector to operate.
The governor disclosed that the state’s signature projects, “the dual carriage super highway and Calabar Deep Seaport were earmarked to provide a safety pad for the private sector to strive.”
Ayade who thanked the Managing Director of FYNEFIELD PETROLEUM, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, for choosing Calabar to do business, explained that “the essence of the proposed super highway from Calabar to Obudu was to enhance the efficient evacuation of petroleum products from the proposed deep seaport to the South East, North East, Niger Republic and Chad.”
He further disclosed that the state government, in partnership with the private sector, will set up a special task force to undertake the dredging of the Calabar channel.
According to him, “We have to do business because gone are the days government thought business was for the private sector.”
Ayade who assured the company of peace and opportunity, urged the FynefIeld MD to expand its capacity to over 50 million litres in view of the expected dual carriage super highway and deep seaport.
On the company’s request for the expansion of the number of jetties to serve the 25 tank farms, Ayade explained that “work on the special port which will be completed in 18 months thereby easing the hardship encountered by those involved in the lifting of petroleum products.”
He described Ogbechie as a man with capacity and commitment, stamina and intellect, adding: “When you are determined, you will succeed and that tells the story.”
In his response, the Managing Director of Fynefield Petroleum, Mr. Gabriel Ogbechie, disclosed that the company which commenced business in 1999, with just one filling station, now has 35 stations spread across the country, 80 trucks and six ships involved in the importation of petroleum products.
Ogbechie put the cost of the tank farm a little above three billion naira with 50 direct employees from the state and hundreds of indirect staff.
He described Calabar as a wonderful location with a peaceful people.
Other dignitaries at the occasion were Senator John Owan Enoh, Prince Goddy Jedy Agba, former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Ibeshi, among others.
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