Abuja — Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has engaged the federal government over the construction of the super highway and the country's first agro industrial port-the Bakassi Deep Sea Port-in the state.
He held the talks yesterday on the two critical projects with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha.
Ayade described the super highway as a policy thrust that would take the Atlantic Ocean closer to northern Nigeria that has large deposits of solid minerals.
According to him, "Crude oil is a thing of the past because in 2030, fossil oil driven cars will come to an end. The world is shifting towards solar energy and by extension, towards solid minerals. The North is so blessed but they must have access to the Atlantic Ocean to enable them the opportunity to do export. That is why the iron ore, the tantalite, the gold and diamond deposits need an access to the export corridor, a maritime domain to have a full benefit of the sea port."
He said the super highway, which starts from the Bakassi Deep Sea Port and terminates in the North, would enhance the exploration of the iron ore and coal deposits in the North-central zone, which is required in large quantity in South Africa to fire their power plants that are based on coal.
Ayade said: "The super highway and the Bakassi Deep Seaport, which I discussed intimately with the SGF, is the way to go to open a vista of opportunity with the northern Nigeria. These resources are so huge but they lie waste because the travel time from North to Lagos, which is the closest port, is over 1,700 km. Nobody will want to go through all that because there is a shortcut using the super highway through the Atlantic Ocean."
In his response, Mustapha lauded the governor for taking Cross River State to a greater height through his progressive policy.
He said he paid a visit to Calabar two years ago to assess the rice seedling plant in addition to the poultry plant and the hub of the industrial estate in the city.
Mustapha stressed the need to facilitate the development of small and medium scale enterprises for job creation and generation of employment that will set the people on a trajectory of sustainability in the industries.