Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State has appealed to the Federal Government to dredge the Calabar Port to attract investors, tourists and boost revenue generation.
Otu made the call on Friday in Calabar, when he received the Calabar Port Manager, Mr. Festus Olumati, and his team.
The governor said it was important that the encumbrances hindering the dredging work of the port be settled out of court.
He charged the management of the port 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 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.
“We are doing our best in terms of security.
“I want to assure you that with the collaborative efforts of the Navy and other security agencies in the state coupled with positioning a vessel at the estuary, criminal activities would be checked,” he said.
He urged the port management not to relent in their marketing drive and ensure that they met with the Chambers of Commerce and relevant stakeholders on the need to bring life back to the port.
He said the state had investments across the waterways and would welcome any investor willing to dry dock or engage in other port development enterprises that would boost economic activities at the ports.
Olumati informed the governor that his team had not relented in its aggressive marketing efforts, which were yielding efforts with more cargo berthing at the port.
He said prior to his taking over the control affairs at the port it was receiving four vessels monthly, adding that now they received no fewer than 16 vessels in a month.
“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 an increase in both revenue generation and cargo activities in the port, thereby generating employment opportunities,” the manager said.