By Desmond Ogudu
Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, on Monday, announced the payment of N200 million as compensation to the people for donating 35,000 hectares of land for the development of the Bakassi Deep Seaport.
The Governor spoke during a stakeholders meeting at the State Executive Chamber, Calabar.
In attendance were leaders and traditional rulers of the area, led by the Paramount Ruler of Bakassi, Etinyin Etim Okon Edet.
Ayade, who was overwhelmed by the land donation, said: “We, as parties, have come together to say we will support the people of Bakassi Local Government with a token of N200 million, for donating 35,000 hectares of land for the development of the Bakassi Deep Seaport”.
The Governor added: “While we appreciate that the ultimate beneficiary of the port is Bakassi Local Government, it is noteworthy to state that it is for the good of the nation and indeed Africa”, adding that, “The N200m is not value for the land but a token as compensation”.
Recalling that President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2015 promised, during his first term campaign to Cross River, that he will not only deal with the loss of the State oil wells, but will find an adequate and proper solution for the Bakassi people if he assumes office as President, Ayade appealed to the President to fulfill his commitment.
According to the Governor, we look on to President Buhari to grant, as a matter of national urgency, a special sovereign guarantee to support us as we move to the final business with the begining of the process of getting a core concessionaire, who will start the investment on the development of the port”.