President Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday in Abuja promised the federal government support and desire to help Calabar, the historic capital city of Cross River State and the first capital of Nigeria, regain its lost glory.
He said the federal government would do this by supporting the various developmental projects slated for Calabar and those connected to it.
He was speaking while receiving in audience His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Out V, Obong of Calabar at the statehouse, in Abuja. Buhari said despite the relegating of the ancient city to the background especially since it lost it status as the country’s first capital his administration will strive to open the city to the rest of Nigeria as well as ensure the happiness and betterment of the people of the city and in the state at large.
Buhari said, “We will open up that part of Nigeria to the rest of the country,” he revealed that a number of projects are being executed by the federal government in the state. Some of the projects include three road projects, the Calabar – Ugep –Ikom – Ogoja: Calabar – Itu- Ikot Ekpene and Sapele – Ewu are at various stages of completion.”
The President hinted on the measures being adopted to speed up work on the Calabar – Ugep- Ogoja road by sourcing funds from the Sukuk Bond to increase the level of funding of the construction work.
Obong of Calabar
He also assured that the dredging of the Calabar harbor will be undertaken as soon as possible by the Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Ports Authority NPA. He pledged support for the Calabar deep seaport project of the state and assure that some electricity projects would soon be completed in the state.
Buhari also listed other projects being executed in the state to include those done by the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC such as the industrial park, the construction of roads and water projects and the development of the Skill Acquisition Centre for youths: and the construction of houses among others.
In his address, the Obong of Calabar decried the disregard and Neglect of calabar kingdom in spite of its national historical significance, and called for the reversal of the demotion through the execution of projects in the areas of roads, power, maritime access, security and border issues as well as the plight of displaced persons from the Bakassi islands.