He recalled that the port was originally created alongside Warri and Koko ports to help the nation cope with severe congestion problem being experienced then at the Lagos Port.
A statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Capt. Iheanacho Ebubeogu, explained that the Obong spoke in Calabar when the NPA Managing Director, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, paid him a visit.
The Obong lamented that the Calabar Port had suffered a lot of set-back in the past due to the failed attempt to dredge its shallow channel.
He desried the timelag between the pre-dredging survey and the actual dredging, noting that continuous siltation over time would make the survey unreliable.
The Obong urged the Federal Government to place the economic benefit of the dredging project above all other considerations.
He also suggested the rehabilitation of various link roads to ensure free flow of traffic from the port to other cities in the North Central and North Eastern parts of the country.
He pledged to sustain the cordial relationship existing between the people of Calabar and the NPA and expressed appreciation to the President for responding to the yearning of the Calabar people.
The NPA boss had earlier appealed for greater cooperation from the host communities of Calabar Port.
He said that although Calabar Port had obvious challenges with respect to high siltation rates and shallow channel, the Federal Government was firmly committed to making the port vibrant and viable.
Abdullahi told the Obong that the long-awaited dredging of Calabar Port channel had finally gained a milestone, as the Federal Government had granted an approval for a company to undertake the dredging of the channel to allow bigger vessels unrestricted access to the port.
He said that, by this gesture, President Goodluck Jonathan had demonstrated his personal interest in making Calabar Port viable.
He urged the business community and the people of Calabar to work out how best to take advantage of the vast opportunities that the port would present in the near future.
He promised that his administration would remain open to suggestions and contributions.
The NPA boss was accompanied on the visit by some top officials of the Authority, including the General Manager, Marine and Operations, Mallam Mohammed Bulangu; General Manager, Eastern Ports, Mr. Sunny Nwobi; and General Manager, Health, Safety and Environment, Mr. T.O.S Talabi.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.