Cameroon: Bakassi - Land
The Bakassi Peninsular in a nutshell tells of an interesting area, hidden in the numerous creeks of the Atlantic beaches in the extreme south western end of Ndian Division in the South West province of Cameroon.
With its four sub divisions, Bakassi is known to be an area that is mostly inhabited by Efik people from Nigeria. It has an estimated population of 300,000 people and can only be accessed by sea from Limbe or by air with the use of helicopter. The swampy peninsular with its surrounding waters is rich in fish, mangrove forest and submarine oil deposit.
Until the oil exploitation effectively goes operational, the major economic activities in the area revolve on fishing and exploitation of mangrove. Although still in its primitive phase, fishing remains the main economic activity among the population. The fish is caught, smoked and sold mostly in Oron in Nigeria. Residents complain that the present dispensation does not favour the sell of fish in Cameroon.
Prospect of the area being completely transformed into an economic bastion are rife. KOSMOS ENERGY, a private international oil exploration and production company with headquarters in Dallas, United States, recently agreed to carryout exploration activities on the Ndian river block. According to a press release from the National Hydrocarbons Corporation (NHC) issued on February 13, a contract will be signed to that effect to enable the American company carryout exploration activities for a three-year period. The company is among others, expected to conduct aeromagnetic and gravimetric surveys in the block.
Apart from the administration that has started trickling into the area development projects which is the priority of priorities for the Cameroon government, is basically in the hands of the military engineers. They are busy constructing schools, health centres, water points and administrative buildings.