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Calabar Port has not received container vessel in 25 years -Manager



Mr Festus, the Manager, Calabar Ports, says the port has not received any container vessel in the past 25 years.

Festus made the statement on Friday in Calabar during an investigative visit to the port by the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Ports and Harbours.

He said that the Calabar channel had not been dredged to allow bigger vessels to come into the port.

”Bigger vessels can’t come in because of this. The situation is affecting the economy of the zone.

”If more vessels come into the Port, the economic will receive a boost, more employment will be created,” he said.

The port manager also listed the poor state of the road leading into Calabar as another challenge to effective use of the port.

”The access road into Calabar is a complete nightmare for cargo owners.

A cargo bearing truck from Calabar to Akwa Ibom now takes between four and five.

”To remain afloat, we had to develop a technique, we ask vessels to come in only when the tides are high because any vessel that comes when the tide is low runs the risk of going under.

”The draft of the Calabar channel is about 5.2meters which is quite shallow, it needs to be dredged to about 9metres to enable the vessels come in,” he said.

Festus urged the Federal Government to intervene by urgently tackling the challenges facing of the port.
”When we assumed duty, the port only received about four to six vessels monthly but we increased this number to about 20 to 21 vessels monthly.

”We achieved this by going out to different stakeholders in the industry to get them to use the port,” he said.

Responding, Mr Nnaji Nnolim, Leader of the delegation, said it was important to rehabilitate the Calabar Port and dredge its channels.

Nnolim, representing Nkanu East/Nkanu West in the House of Representatives, said that the Federal Government would soon commence a programme to rehabilitate ports.

”We shall ensure that Calabar Port benefits from this programme. This port is critical, not only to Nigeria but to West Africa as a whole.

”It will create a lot of jobs if it is maximally operational, we are looking towards ensuring that its draft is dredged to about 9.5metres,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Peter Odey, the Deputy Governor of Cross River, described the Calabar Port as an evacuation corridor to the Gulf of Guinea.

He thanked the Federal Government for including the cost of dredging the port channel in the 2024 budget.

Christian Njoku

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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