Cross River deep seaport to gulp N200 billion
The proposed Cross River state government Bakassi Deep Seaport is projected to cost between $500 million and $800 million (about N200 billion). Meanwhile, the state government has estimated her controversial superhighway to cost N700 billion, thus bringing the cost of the two projects to about N900 billion.
Work had commenced on the superhighway and the Deep Seaport projects before the Federal Ministry of Environment put a stop to work, pending the outcome of an internationally accepted Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) document to avoid the degradation of the environment.
Briefing newsmen in Calabar after a meeting with the Federal Government Steering Committee on the Deep Sea Port, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Technical Matters, Mr Eric Akpo, specifically said, “the deep seaport is projected to cost between $500 million and $800 million”. He did not, however, give any cost on the superhighway, even though the state government had earlier disclosed that it would cost N700 billion.
In line with the governor’s earlier pronouncement about these projects, Akpo promised the people of Cross River “these projects are not going to take any money from the state account. It is going to be 100 per cent public- private project (PPP).”
He explained: “The state will only be exposed to the level of providing land for the seaport and corridor for the superhighway. That is the cost for the state. The provision of land for the seaport and the corridor for the superhighway is our equity contribution. Beyond that, the project is proposed by the state and to be operated on the build and operate transfer kind of basis as a PPP.
“For now we are at the level of expression of interest form, and we have expression of interest from about 10 companies for the seaport and 12 companies for the superhighway.”