Efio-Ita Nyok|14 November 2016
The Special Adviser on Technical Matters to the Governor of Cross River State, Arc Eric Akpo, has validated the news report holding that the federal government has given Cross River State the approval to engage a Transaction Adviser in view of the Proposed Cross River State Deep Seaport, a pet project of His Excellency the Governor of Cross River State.
According to the aide, 'The Government of Cross River State of Nigeria has received approval from the Federal Government for the engagement of a Transaction Advisor to prepare the Outline Business Case for the Proposed Cross River State Deep Seaport, this is a landmark achievement in the path to realization of the dream which is a signature project of the Senator Ayade administration.
'The FG had setup a project steering committee for the Bakassi Deep Seaport some months ago to evaluate the viability of the proposed port and to ascertain the projections and claims of the CRSG at per the need for a port Bakassi, the recommendations from this committee were expected to either seek the FGs approval for the procurement of a Transaction Advisor or vise versa. These approval means the need for the Seaport is justified and that other processes in the transaction can commence. It is a landmark achievement in the progression to actualisation. The state government would now proceed to advertise for an internationally reputed Transaction Advisor.', he concluded.
It would be recalled that the media aide to the Governor had reported that, 'The Bakassi Deep Seaport project embarked upon by the Cross River State Government has received a major boost following the approval by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transport for the procurement of a Transaction Adviser.
'Governor Ben Ayade dropped the hint during a retreat organized by the state government for political appointees at the prestigious Obudu Ranch Resort.
'Ayade who could not hide his excitement while breaking the news to his appointees also disclosed that the Nigeria Customs Service has equally given the state clearance for the direct berthing of vessels at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort.
According to the governor, 'the journey towards setting up a deep seaport in the ears and eyes of ordinary person from our perspective, is impossible because it requires multi-billion dollars for the project to be executed. Today, I am so excited to announce to you that the federal government of Nigeria under the instrumentality of the Federal Ministry of Transport has granted us approval for the procurement of a Transaction Adviser for our Bakassi Deep Seaport.'
It is believed that the development is aimed at restoring the status of the facility as a Free Trade Zone Enterprise (FTZE).
While recalling the setback that has befallen Tinapa which has rendered the facility near atrophy, considering the huge investment by the state, Ayade stated: “Remember also that we had problems with Tinapa, it was supposed to be a tax haven to improve businesses and increase investment profile and of course encourage traffic into the state, a great conception as it were.”
Continuing, he said: “But for sometimes now, we been having difficulties in bringing in vessels but after my fruitful engagement with the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ahmed Ali, he gave a marching order and approval granted that vessels can now come straight to Tinapa unhindered.'
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