In March 2022, the House of Representatives raised concerns that although CCM had reportedly commenced work, the port was yet to be dredged. The house, therefore, urged the Federal Government to re-award the contract to a reputable company.
It also directed the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to supervise the project and ensure that standard depth is established. The latter, the house explained, “would enable larger vessels to berth in line with international best practices.”
Moreover, the House mandated its Committee on Ports and Harbours to investigate the contracts awarded in 2006 and 2014 respectively. The aim is to ensure that all factors militating against the complete dredging of the Calabar Seaport are resolved.
Calabar is a multi-purpose port facility located in Cross River, a state in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Reportedly, right from the pre-colonial and colonial error, the port served as an important focus of trade with the outside world for the Eastern States. It also served as a natural harbor for the Northern States of Nigeria.
Controlled by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Calabar Port comprises the Old and the New Ports that are home to a total of 4 terminals. The port terminals are managed by private operators on concessional leases.
Moreover, the port has a Dockyard and 7.5 m channel drafts. Calabar Multi-Purpose Port has jurisdiction over Crude Oil Terminals at Antan, Odudu, Yoho, and QuaIboe. Additionally, it has other jetties at NIWA, McIver, NNPC, ALSCON, Dozzy, and Northwest.
Calabar multi-purpose port development
Calabar Port has been subject to multiple development, modernization, and expansion projects. The first project was embarked on under the 3rd National Development Plan of 1975–1980. This resulted in the construction and commissioning of the new port complex on 9th June 1979.
There have also been diverse government proclamations on the dredging of the port. These dates back to the administrations of General Ibrahim Babangida and General Sani Abacha. However, no tangible progress has been made. In 2006, a contract for the dredging of the port was awarded to Jan De Nul and Van Oord at a cost of $56 million. The companies however abandoned the projects in a protracted moribund state.
Fast forward to 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan initiated the project. He reportedly, started Calabar Channel Management (CCM), a Joint Venture company between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and a consortium of companies led by Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited with a mandate to dredge the port.
Reported On May 22, 2015
Dredging work on the Calabar port in Nigeria stalls
Dredging work on the Calabar port in Nigeria has stalled barely four months after its commencement when the workers neglected their duties on the construction site.
The US$101.19m project with a draught stretch of 10 meters which was awarded in 2014 was abandoned during the Yuletide holiday period given to the contractor’s workers who never returned to the project site after the break.
In reference to Mike Ogodo the Cross River Shippers’ Association President’s report, the situation is worrying for the workers not showing up as it concerns all the stakeholders. given that the contract has already been awarded to the contractors.
In his report, according to the EcoMarine Port Managers, the Calabar Port project was in progress in December 2014 and became dormant in January 2015. However, the situation has been said to have been due to the general elections held in March this year.
The dredging project expansion was to serve as a solution, as the path leading to the port was too thin. However, the project will also give way to the moving vessels which navigate into the port. Nonetheless, the government has a record of US$162.3m spent on similar projects with no satisfying outcome. Back in 2012, the Calabar Channel Management Limited (CCM) was formed as a result of the Nigerian Ports Authority merging with the Niger Global Engineering and Technical Services with the responsibility of maintaining the Calabar navigation channel.
Reported On Jun 4, 2015
Dredging work on the Calabar port in Nigeria has stalled
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Reported On Jul 6, 2015
The proposed Calabar Deep Seaport in Nigeria receives a US$553.3m financial boost
The proposed Calabar Deep Seaport in Nigeria has received a total amount of US$553.3m from Broad Spectrum Industrial Services towards the financing of the project.
However, several proposed projects in the country such as a dual carriage super highway, a modular refinery, a cement factory, and an agriculture sector have as well got the attention of Broad Spectrum Services.
According to Broad Spectrum, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Michael Havre, the Calabar Deep Seaport will be done under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) which requires a 25% bank guarantee issued by the state government since the funds represent a loan neither does it represent a grant for its clearly a project financing.
In fact, the Nigerian bank has already agreed to consider issuing a guarantee on behalf of Cross River State.
Furthermore, Senator Ben Ayade the Cross River State Governor revealed the state plans to put up a hydropower plant that will supply the residents with about 90MW of electricity. This comes after Chinese investors presented their proposal to the governor that the Kwa Falls can generate 30MW, as well as Agbokim with a generation capacity of 30MW with the canalization and Channelization from either Ikom or Calabar. The Itigidi Rivers will however generate 30MW, which brings the total power generation output to 90MW.
Governor Ayade urged that going hydro is actually the best and most cost-effective power solution since the water is free, unlike the gas turbines’ power generation technology which is very expensive, hard to maintain, and operate. Nonetheless, the Power China Huadong Engineering Corporation, Managing Director, Mr. Rao Jiangiang confirmed the company visits the proposed sites to conclude the feasibility studies and actualize the Cross River State’s dream of power independence in the shortest time possible in partnership with the stakeholders.
Reported On Mar 16, 2018
NPA to facilitate the dredging of Calabar Port in Nigeria
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has commenced arrangements to facilitate the dredging of Calabar Port, in Cross River State. The Calabar Port is one of the ports that had suffered so much in the past due to shallow waters, and controversies surrounding the dredging of the channel. However, NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, assured that the exercise will be executed to completion.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting in Calabar, Bala Usman, revealed that the Authority has placed an advert for the contract, and will commence the survey of the channel this week in preparation for the award of the dredging contract.
According to Executive Director, of Engineering and Technical Services, Idris Abubakar, NPA is carrying out the survey so as to identify the total area to be dredged, after which the authority will consider which contractor will carry out the dredging.
“The contract has been advertised, we are now in the procurement process. We have been given allocation in the 2017 budget. We will commence the survey on Monday because we need to know the size of the area before giving it to the qualified contractor,” said Bala Usman.
“The procurement process will not be completed until the survey report is ready, and the standard bidding documents for the contractors will be made available after the survey. Once that is ready, we will progress to the Ministry, and further to the Federal Executive Council for approval of the contractor. When this is done, we will immediately commence the dredging,” added Usman.
The managing director assured that the dredging will come to reality this year, as due process is being followed to execute the project. Meanwhile, the Authority has commissioned a signal station at the Dockyard in Calabar Port, to track vessel movement, and ensure safe navigation into the port.
Commissioning high-tech signal station
Bala Usman, who officially commissioned the facility, said the high-tech signal station is part of the Authority’s commitment to ensure that the channels are safe for visiting ships.
“It improves the security at the channel, as you will have all database of movement along the channel such that you can use the data bank to get information from the signal station,” she said.
Port Manager, Calabar Port, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olotu, said: “What the signal station is doing for us is that no vessel or craft can come into Calabar pilotage district without our knowledge. It is positioned at a vantage spot overlooking the entire entrance to the port.
“The signal station is equipped with binoculars that can zoom the images; it can contact other signal stations; equipped with 24 hours electricity supply and will help us in terms of rescue operations, in case there is any incident along the channel, then we can track, monitor and report,” she said.