President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed doors with the Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, in what is believed to be in continuation of talks over the proposed Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 260km superhighway.
The meeting, which reportedly lasted about 40 minutes, was held inside the President’s official residence at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ayade had arrived for the meeting clutching some office files and heading straight to the President’s office from where he was driven to the residence.
Since the meeting was held inside the President’s office, the governor did not speak with State House correspondents.
The proposed Bakassi Deep Seaport and the 260km superhighway are estimated to cost about N700bn.
Ayade had last year said the deep seaport had received the presidential nod.
“Even in the face of several challenges and the fear that the project was impossible, the President has kept giving me proper encouragement and I am happy to acknowledge that,” the governor had said during the official visit of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority.
The Federal Government recently gave the state governor the approval to recruit a transaction advisor.
It had also constituted an advisory and implementation committee for the project.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on States and Local Government Affairs, Abdullahi Gumel, on Tuesday disclosed that the Federal Government spent N300m on development projects in Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State in 2016.
Gumel, who led a team of National Assembly members on oversight visit to projects being executed by the Border Communities Development Agency on Tuesday, said contrary to widespread reports, the Federal Government had not abandoned the displaced people of Bakassi.
The team visited at least five projects in Ikang and neighbouring villages in Bakassi LGA.
The projects were three primary health-care centres; one primary school, a border outpost for security agencies and open shops for traders.