Limbe Deep Seaport : Maturing The People's Project

Development scientists have labelled Cameroon’s 400-Kilometre long coastal line as a treasure for maritime commercial and business activities. Analysts’ of sea profits even believe the shoreline can take Cameroon to economic levels of Shanghai or Singapore whose economies are rock-based on seaport exploitation.
The vision to tap from nature’s ocean blessings has pushed Cameroon Government to establish seaports in Douala (Littoral Region) and recently in Kribi (South Region). A third one is however in gestation for Limbe in the South West Region since 1983. Oceanic luminaries put the Limbe sea depth at over 30 feet classifying it as a deep seaport above the ordinary ones of 20 feet.
Sensitization is gaining ground to prepare the minds of indigenes of the coastal villages of Fako Division earmarked to host the Limbe deep seaport. The desire is mounting for a project that would create, by experts’ estimates, some 20,000 permanent and temporal jobs for Cameroonians. Even more, when realized, the seaport shall open Cameroon to countless international economic horizons. Jobs and opportunities by the seaport will generate such effects as limiting local aimless emigration, quelling social and political tempers, and gainfully employing idle hands that are fast becoming the devils work tools. On the macro-economic standpoint, the Limbe deep seaport project estimated at FCFA 400 billion will fast-track Cameroon’s emergence projected for 2035.  
A deep-water port (seaport) is somewhat defined as “any fixed or floating manmade structure other than a vessel located beyond State seaward boundaries used or intended as a port or terminal for transportation, storage, or handling of oil or natural gaz for transportation to or from any State”. Engineers classify ports into some six major categories namely inland port, fishing port, dry port, warm water port, cargo port and seaport. Ordinarily, a seaport averages 20 feet underneath.
Ports are crucial transportation hubs that facilitate the movement of goods and people across the world sustaining global economies, businesses and markets worldwide.  Because it is a place to facilitate the loading as well as unloading of vessels, a seaport is a strategic convergence point between freight circulation domains. If it is deeper like the Limbe Project then it is 30 or more profound feet meaning that it will carry bigger vessels and permit more extensive activities.   
Such importance known of a seaport, let alone a deep one, makes it an imperative for any growth-aspiring country. Yet, the Limbe seaport promised Cameroonians since 1983, seems to be beating the air with clipped wings. A seaport is a bottomless source of income for the State. And so, many are asking what is stalling the materialization of the Limbe seaport project with such outright potential benefits for the nation and State of Cameroon?
From the investment standpoint, a sea port is costly to build. But modern economies are established through loans. The banks especially the multi-nationals do not generally hesitate to dole out loans when projects are indisputably gainful. The appointment in March, 2022 of a Deputy Director of the transitional administration of the port project brought smiles to the faces of well-wishers.
Conception studies of the project were hinted as having started in 2020 and were properly advanced especially with the reversing of the port base from Isonge to Ngeme. Any society letting go even a single opportunity for employment of its youth may have to invest more to protect itself from idle hands. The locality of Limbe deep seaport seems to be losing enormous opportunities of employment for the youth with the delay of the port. The job-loss is equally accentuated with the on-going socio-political crisis that is strangulating the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) and squeezing away some 22,000 jobs earlier secured in Fako Division and other areas.
It is important for any person involved in the Limbe deep seaport, at whatever level, to be more diligent so the dream can become a reality any time soon. Ports are a treasure for all. Not even only to residents of the vicinity. The on-going sensitization of host villages is bringing out salient points of consideration to include compensation for any property loss. However efficient or not that the procedure may be, people must learn to accept individual sacrifices for the general good. Here, we may recall that the project of a seaport in Limbe started many years ago with Ngeme earmarke...



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