President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the dredging of Calabar channel to boost the economy of Cross River and the country.
The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, made this known when he received South-South and South-East traditional rulers led by Edmund Daukoru, the Amanyanabo of Nembe, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Umar said the delay in the dredging of Calabar channel had impacted negatively on the economic activities of Cross River and the entire country.
“The delay had also affected the economic fortunes of the area and the entire country. Tinapa Resort, Calabar has been a little bit dormant because of the non-functionality of the channel.
“At last the matter has been concluded and President Goodluck Jonathan has graciously approved that work should commence at the channel.
“The remaining part of the channel that has not been dredged will now be dredged and the Calabar Channel Management Company will take charge of the capital and maintenance,’’ he said.
The minister thanked the council on the approval granted by the president for the commencement of work at the Calabar channel.
He said the present administration was determined to transform the transport sector, saying that government had revitalised the railway system, which had been out of operation for two decades.
The minister said that the Federal Executive Council had approved development of additional deep seaports which included Lekki, Badagry, Ibaka and Warri seaports, in an effort to improve the maritime sector.
He said the present administration recognised the support and continuous cooperation of the council of traditional rulers.
Earlier, Daukoru commended the Federal Government over the contract, and described the approval of the presidency as gratifying news.
According to the monarch, the economic significant of the award of the contract is enormous. “The Calabar port is of strategic importance because it links Port Harcourt, Warri and Lagos and any effort made to open up the port will improve the country’s economic growth.
“Any kind of maritime activities in Cross River generally will be of immediate benefit to the entire geo-political zone,’’ he said.
NAN learnt that the delay was caused by some controversial issues surrounding the award of the dredging contract since 2005. (NAN)