The recent bold moves by Senator Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State to construct a 260 kilometer super highway and a Bakassi Atlantic Deep Seaport to reduce travel time within the state as well as build a major economic bridge between the South and North-east. The seeds for the actualization of the twin projects: the 260 kilometer Calabar – Katsina – Ala highway and the Bakassi Deep Seaport were sowed May 29, 2015 at the inauguration of Senator Ben Ayade as governor of Cross River State.
In his inaugural speech, Ayade made some key pronouncements that would eventually hallmark his administration. He announced to his audience that his administration would undertake the building of key infrastructure and what he christened as signature projects.
He challenged his people to look beyond the mundane and focus on the big picture, big ideas that would ultimately transform the state and propel it to greater heights. “This is what this moment requires. The capacity to dream! That is what will give real meaning to our belief. We must all strive to dream, to lift our eyes beyond the horizons of the present difficulties and visualize a better day! And we must all do this…from the hills of Obanliku to the thick forests of Boki and from the Creeks of Bakassi to the Cocoa plantations of Ikom, we must join hands to plant the trees of HOPE and water the gardens of liberty,” he urged them.
Among the key infrastructure that he hoped would catapult the state to a new horizon, Ayade used the opportunity, to announce our signature projects; we shall undertake the construction of a dual carriage super highway from Calabar through Ikom and Ogoja to the Ranch Resort in Obudu. We shall also build a state sea port.
The road according to the governor “will have internet connectivity all through the highway, a photographic solar system with a satellite antenna. It is also going to be the first to have anti-sleep bumps on the highway. It is also going to be the first to have speed cameras. It is also going to be the first to have ambulatory services. This road is a digital road, designed for the 21st century. We are optimistic that this road will be done in the next four to five years. It will reduce travel time from the current 5 to 6 hours to just one and a half hour. It would create harmony and peaceful existence between the three senatorial zones in the state as well as transverse 14 out of the 18 council areas in the state. It goes through the heart of business in the state and would give opportunities to our farmer to evacuate the farm proceeds through off-takers. On a more important note, it will open up access to largely untapped but abundant solid mineral deposits like ore, uranium, coal etc in neighboring states.”