by Ene Asuquo
Cross River State Governor, Senator Prince Bassey Otu, has called on the Federal Government to speedily dredge the Calabar Port for improved revenue generation
The Governor made the call when the Calabar Port Manager, Mr. Festus Ikechi Olumati, paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, Calabar.He explained that transforming the port to an active one will attract investors as well as tourists and boost revenue generation.
Otu said, “it’s important that the encumbrances hindering the dredging work be settled out of court for us to have a more active port”.
He said further, “If it is in terms of offering concessions to cargo and ship owners, we would ensure that, such are granted”.
“We are fully aware of the enormous economic potential of the port and we will do our best to make it work so as to improve our economy through the generation of desired revenue for the country,” the governor assured.
Otu charged the management of the ports to take advantage of the existing synergy between the state government, the Navy, and other security agencies to draw more traffic to the facility.
“We are doing our best in terms of security and I want to assure you that with the collaborative efforts of the Navy and other security agencies in the state coupled with the fact that we are positioning a vessel at the estuary, these would help check piracy and other criminal activities.
“Do not relent in your marketing drive but ensure you meet with the Chambers of Commerce and other relevant stakeholders on the need for a renewed drive to bring life back to the Port.
“We have an investment across the waterways, so we welcome any investor willing to dry dock or engage in other ports development that will boost economic activities around the area,” Otu said.
Earlier, the Calabar Ports Manager, Chief Festus Ikechi Olumati, informed the governors that his team has not relented in its aggressive marketing efforts, which are yielding efforts with more cargoes berthing.
“Prior to my taking over the Ports, we were receiving four vessels monthly, but today, through our aggressive marketing efforts, we now receive at least 16 vessels in a month.
“Also, after six years, the Calabar Port has received 34,000 metric tonnes of vessel with a total cargo tonnage of 42 metric tonnes.
“These have translated into increase in both revenue generation and cargo activities in the ports, thereby generating employment opportunities,” the Ports Manager said.