By Jonathan Ugbal and Ashie Osor
The federal government has announced the approval of a project to site a border market and health center among several others in Bakassi local government area of Cross River State.
The Director, National Border Communities Development Agency, Alhaji Faruk Maiturare disclosed this, Monday when he led a delegation from the agency on a courtesy visit to Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade in his office.
Maiturare in his remarks solicited for a piece of land for a project that will positively impact on Bakassi as a border community as the federal government has awarded a contract for the construction of a 60-stall border market, 1 primary health center, 4 units of 1and 2 bedrooms houses respectively, Security posts for customs and immigrations, and 3 overhead water tanks with a combined capacity of 70,000 litres.
Also, Maiturare requested for a collaboration from the state to enable them achieve some uncompleted projects inherited from other sister agencies including the National Boundary Commission.
He explained that with about 20,000 border communities across the country, the choice of Bakassi was to assist the area gain access to various forms of socialization and the provision of livelihood.
Ayade in his remarks, lauded the federal government for awarding the contract and as the people of Bakassi have been reduced to want for no fault of theirs.
“I am happy because this government is sensitive enough to locate such remote areas and trying to provide succour,” adding that “it shows that the Federal government is responsive to our cries on the plight of the Bakassi people” Ayade said.
Continuing, the governor said that: “I thank the Federal government for identifying such communities because they are more or less decoupled from society and civilization, so for government to identify such communities, I think it is quite noble.”
Ayade who approved a parcel of land for the projects charged his deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, to ensure that the state on its part, assist the federal government through the provision of adequate security as well as other necessary support to aid the projects.
While assuring that the people of Bakassi are peace loving who find delight in receiving visitors and strangers alike, the governor encouraged the agency to incorporate Bakassi indigenous contractors into the project to enable them boost their economy in a bid to prevent a situation where patronage of the market is short-lived due to lack of resources.
Ayade solicited a lighting system in the area, as he averred that the area was always dark, adding that the inclusion of power would make the market thrive as parents will have better chances to eke out a living.
“Since you have a responsibility for infrastructure beyond the market stalls, if there is also a way you can incorporate light because the place is always dark, the better,” the governor said, adding that,”this will help the market thrive, the children will go back to school and the parents will have something to do” he said.
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