Calabar - The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Habib Abdulahi, said on Thursday that the Federal Government had awarded the contract for the dredging of Calabar Port.
Abdulahi gave the information when he paid a courtesy visit to the Acting Governor of Cross River, Mr Efiok Cobham, at the Government House, Calabar.
The managing director, who was in Calabar as part of his familiarisation tour of ports across the country, said that Nigeria was increasing efforts toward expanding trade with other countries.
He said that the Federal Government was happy with the collaboration of the Calabar Government to bring the port to operation.
``I am very happy and eager to inform you that Mr President has approved the capital and maintenance dredging of the Calabar Port, ‘’ he said.
Abdullahi said both local and international ones investors were encouraged to ``maximise the opportunity soon to be offered by the port``.
He said that the dredging would begin before the end of the year but in phases.
Responding, Cobham, described the dredging of the port as ``very critical to the economy of the state, particularly now that it is veering off from over-dependence on oil``.
Cobham said that the state stood to gain with cargoes passing through the port in the state.
According to him, the prices of goods will drop around the zone since cargoes will not have to travel long distances to their destinations.
``So, it is very gratifying to hear today that Mr President has approved the dredging. We are hopeful that the approval will come to fruition.
``It will be a worthy legacy to this state if the Calabar Port becomes functional, ‘’ he said.