A stakeholder and maritime lawyer, Dr. Nsikak Ediom has lamented the poor budgetary allocation for the Calabar Port dredging project, a development he said may work against the economic growth of the South South and South East region of the country.
Ediom Said that the attitude of NPA management seem to be stalling the project saying that “the current NPA management does not want the dredging of the Calabar which is very strategic to the economic growth of the country and the South-South and South-East regions in particular.
“This project is very key to the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. He must ensure that priority attention is given to it before he hands over to the incoming administration on May 29, 2015. All those seen to be sabotaging the effort must be called to order”
The contract for the dredging was awarded by the Federal Government to a consortium of companies led by Niger Global Engineering & Technical Company Limited with Royal Boskalis and Westminster Dredging Company through the NPA’s special purpose vehicle (SPV), Calabar Channel Management Company Limited (CCML) but it is being starved of funds by the NPA management which prefers to allocate larger sums to the Lagos and Bonny Channels whose physical infrastructure had already been developed and may not have activities in terms of actual work to match their budgetary allocations.
The action of the NPA management has raised concerns by maritime watchers who wondered why the management would not allocate little funds to the Calabar Channel dredging project which has massive infrastructural outlay which includes the ongoing capital dredging campaign.
They believe that the action of the management is a subtle attempt to frustrate and bring to oblivion, one of the major achievements of the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as the port is expected to come to life after decades of lying in comatose.