By Our Correspondent
A Chinese truck manufacturing company, SINO Truck of China has completed arrangements to establish an assembling plant in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
This was disclosed recently when the company’s Head of African Division, Mr. John Wang, paid the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, a courtesy call in his office in Calabar.
According to Wang, the setting up of the assembling plant would be preceded with the establishment of service centers all over the state for all the company’s trucks in Nigeria.
Wang disclosed that the establishment of SINO assembling plant in the state has to do with its first class infrastructure and the nature of the people.
He also cited the peaceful investment climate in the state as one of the motivating factors, adding that “Cross River is the most peaceful in the South South with an enduring weather that has a huge potential for the development of trucks and is good for industry establishment.”
Giving a profile of his company, Wang also added that “Sino Truck is a state owned company and the number one heavy duty truck manufacturing company in China with over 56 years experience, with a good record in truck manufacturing and assembly.”
In his remark, Governor Ayade urged the company to speed up preparations for the auto plant as all the enabling infrastructural environment like the construction of a deep seaport and a superhighway was being put in place.
Ayade said the decision by the Chinese firm to site a truck assembling plant in Calabar was largely because of the social climate and peaceful nature of the state, noting that this will complement his administration’s efforts in industrializing the state.
The governor expressed optimism that the investment is viable as both the investors and the local economy would benefit from such investment relationship.
Ayade noted that in a bid to fast track the planting of 5 million trees to support climate change, it was pertinent that haulage will be a core component as there will be movement of young seedlings from one part of the state to another.
He said: “With our aggressive climate change campaign for which the World Bank is setting up 16 billion dollars for Africa and the United Nations setting aside 100 billion dollars annually for developing countries. You can see that transportation of young seedlings for planting, vegetation and forest cover becomes a key issue.”
Disclosing that the state, under a partnership agreement, is building the biggest garment factory in Africa, among other things, Ayade said: “We are far more prepared and more geared towards the utilization of the product more than you can imagine,” adding that “the amount of manufacturing will be so huge that the haulage component will be massive.”
He further disclosed that “Cross River State government is building a new city dedicated to haulage. The state is also committed to building a strategic petroleum and gas reserve for Nigeria in the same area with the haulage city.
“Taking advantage of 123 kilometres of Atlantic coastline, it gives you an idea of the volume of trucks and vehicular movement of materials and equipment that will take place in Cross River State as we are building a deep Seaport which our detail design shows will be 14.5 metres in terms of draught. The phase two of the deep seaport will be a span of 1.2 kilometres. That automatically will make it the deepest seaport in Africa and therefore, can take any vessel.”
Ayade also said that the position of Calabar on the world map makes it a more viable option in shipping than anywhere else in the world.
On the anticipated traffic volume, Ayade averred that the 260 kilometres long superhighway will have six lanes, traffic ambulatory services, as well as sugarcane farm which will feed an ethanol plant, banana plantation, dairy farm, food banks, feed maize, modular refinery among others.
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