Calabar was selected for settlement by the Efik people in 1600 because of its suitability for controlling the slave trade. It did not develop into a major urban centre till the 1970s. This was because of poor transportation development. The available water transport was poorly run by a privately managed British Company, the Elder Demster. With the creation of a state capital in 1967 the government developed ferry services. Theses did not only encourage the migration of people from the rural areas to the newly created state capital for employment in the government and industrial establishments, but triggered off urbanization processes. The opening of a land route in 1978 increased population migration, concentration and urbanization. The increased population is not accompanied by increased food supply. Food is scarce and very highly priced especially the protein-rich foods. The low labour productivity is not unconnected with the prevalent malnutrition and undernourishment in the municipality. Here the government is reminded of its responsibility in meaningful planning that will take care of the necessary food supply now lacking in the area.

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