Cross River State Governor Sir Ben Ayade has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to help in the actualization of the Superhighway and Bakassi Deep seaport.
The governor said the two projects, which are signature projects of his administration, when completed will create a new economy for the country, particularly Northern part of Nigeria.
Governor Ayade who spoke Wednesday during an inspection tour of the Odukpani axis of the 274 kilometre Superhighway and the ongoing dualisation of Calabar-Odukpani highway, promised that by the close of the year, a substantial part of the super highway will be completed.
His administration, he said, was determined to change the economy of Cross River adding that there was no better way to do so than making sure that the two projects were actualized.
His words: “Directly behind me is the superhighway where it is feeding into Calabar city, so for us as a state, the construction work on the superhighway has begun in earnest and is being broken into three sets.
There is a team in Ikom, one in Bekwarra which is the beginning of Northern Nigeria, and here we have a team from Calabar. So, these three teams are working to meet each other.”
“At the beginning we have a very big construction company that has already done close to 90km of earth works.”
Continuing, the governor said: “I just want to tell the people of Cross River and indeed Nigerians that the six lane digital Superhighway, the very first in this part of the world, is getting ready and I give my assurances that by the close of this year, a substantial part of this project will be completed and fully ready for use.”
He bemoaned the lack of support from the federal government especially in the area of refunds for federal roads constructed by his administration and said the road will be tolled upon completion so as to generate revenue for the state.
“The Superhighway narrows from six lanes into four lanes as you get into Calabar so we will put a fly over to allow the four lanes to go top and then terminate back in the single lane because the federal government has refused to reimburse Cross River on all dualisation works on existing Federal roads on the basis that the Calabar metropolitan city is catching up with Odukpani .
Therefore, they now see it as a domestic road which we will have no option than to toll to generate revenue”, the governor said.
He Called on president Buhari to issue a special intervention to Cross River to assist in the completion of the projects, insisting that they are too huge and beyond the carrying capacity of Cross River alone.
Projects of this magnitude, he maintained, ought to be federal government projects
Ayade: “A six lane Superhighway linking the Bakassi Deep Seaport to Northern Nigeria ought to have been a federal government project even if the vision was from me as Governor of Cross River State.
I make bold to say that Northern Nigeria needs the Superhighway and the Deep seaport more than any other region due to the huge solid mineral deposits they have but these solid mineral deposits mean nothing if you can’t export them and that is where Cross River Superhighway and Deep seaport come in as we are bringing the Atlantic ocean closer to Northern Nigeria.”
The Cross River state number one citizen commended foreign companies partnering with the state for standing by his administration through difficult time.
“I would like to commend my quality team,my partners, Tata and John Deere for being with us even at this trying moment. The federal government have shown very little attention to our pain as a state, shown very little attention to the superhighway but we will carry on despite the frustrations and hope that one day President Buhari will see the passion and rise to our rescue.
“I call on President Buhari to allow us the luxury of bringing the Atlantic ocean closer to Northern Nigeria through these projects as indeed it will help in decongesting Lagos port, create an economy in Northern Nigeria, reduce Insurgency and usher in a prosperity agenda that posterity will never forget him for “, he stated.