The Cross River Government and the Federal Government are at different turns because of the refusal to grant the state waivers to clear its sports equipment abandoned at the Onne Port in Rivers State since 2014.
The pieces of equipment, which were ordered by Henley Brecon and Mayfield Limited for the construction of the multi-purpose indoor sports hall at the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar, are said to be worth over N400m.
It was learnt that the state government could not clear the goods from the port then due to high customs duties.
It was learnt that the equipment has incurred huge demurrage, forcing the state government to mount pressure on the Federal Government for waivers.
The chairman of the state sports commission, Orok Duke, insisted that that Cross River deserved to be granted waivers by the Federal Government because of its contribution to sports development in the country.
Source; ( Punch Newspaper )
He said the state had been sponsoring athletes to represent Nigeria at tournaments.
The sports chief said, “There are several containers at the Onne Port waiting to be cleared. I do not have an idea of the exact cost. The Federal Government has not granted us waivers.
“The Cross River State Government gave the athletics federation N250m to host athletics meetings for five years.
“They (sports ministry) sent us to Egypt and Germany to represent the country from our pocket. This is outside the just-concluded tennis competition in Morocco. If you add up, we deserve waivers.”
He added, “Our relationship is futuristic and reciprocal. Now that we have been helping them to sponsor events, isn’t it enough to extract enough conviction to consider us? Usually, they are granting waivers to companies.
“What we are saying is that we have proved ourselves.
“During the All Africa Games in Abuja (in 2003), limousines were brought (into the country) under sports. If we have issues regarding certain things concerning our sports development, we want their support. Not a threat.”
The Chairman of Henley Brecon and Mayfield Limited, Mr. Ozolua Giwa-Amu, the contractor handling the indoor sports hall project, had said during an earlier interview with our correspondent that the state had over 100 containers at the Onne Port.
“Those materials are stocked at Onne Port in Rivers State. We have written to the administration of Governor Ben Ayade telling them that we are incurring demurrage,” he had told our correspondent.
“We have completely finished the foundation, all we needed at this stage is to put up the steel structure and the roof. Over 100 containers are left in Onne.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )