Following the inability of the nation’s existing seaports to cope with the current demand of the services in the sector, the Federal Government said it has commenced the construction of a deep seaport in Badagry, Lagos State in order to accommodate high volume of cargo entering the country.
To this end, an eight-member Steering and Project Development Committee, SPDC, charged with the responsibility of piloting the initial process for the actualisation of the Deep seaport projects has been inaugurated in Abuja.
Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar while inaugurating the committee headed by the Director, Maritime Services in the ministry, Mr. M.S Nagogo, said, “The Badagry Deep Seaport is to be developed jointly by the Federal Government, Lagos State Government in partnership with private investors under the Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement.
According to him, “It is worthy of note that the maritime sector of Nigeria, with over 84,000 square nautical miles, is central to the nation’s economic development as a medium of transportation, for global commerce, resource exploitation and recreation.
“To maximize the potential of this key sector of the economy, government has created the enabling environment to encourage Public Private Partnership arrangement, particularly in the development of seaports to facilitate international trade.
“It is not in doubt that the nation’s existing seaports of Apapa, Tin Can, Onne, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri are overstretched. With an overall handling capacity of 60 million metric tonnes per annum, the ports presently cater for over 100 million metric tonnes per annum. It is therefore evident that the existing ports cannot cope with the current demand of the sector.”
He said the Badagry seaport if completed, would accommodation the high volume of cargo generated through international maritime trade and to enable Nigeria attain the status of a maritime hub for west and Central Africa.
Senator Umar noted that, “the site will also accommodate dry docking facilities for super tanker vessels which offer low cost access to both offshore oil/gas fields, in addition to the numerous employment opportunities and related support services that the envisaged port would attract. “
He said “in summary, the Badagry Deep seaport is multi-purpose port that accommodate large and heavily loaded vessels,”, adding, “Mr. President attaches great importance to this project which is indeed part of his Transformation Agenda. We are committed to the completion of the project within the shortest possible time.”
The minister commended the effort of the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola for appointing members of his team to be part of the Steering Committee. This according to him is a clear demonstration of the commitment of the Lagos State Government to ensure the dualisation of the project.
Other terms of references handed to the committee include, to liaise with Federal Ministry of Transport, Lagos State Government, Nigerian Ports Authority, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, stakeholders and the investors, and to organise various investors roundtable discussions and interactive fora.
It is also charged to coordinate all procurement processes in collaboration with Lagos State Government, Federal Ministry of Transport and Nigerian Ports Authority in line with Public Procurement Act, 2007. The committee is to also carry out any incidental assignment or instruction as may arise or as may be given to the Committee in pursuance of the exercise.
Other members of Committee, drawn from Ministry of Transport, Lagos State Government, Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, Mr. Shola Oworu, Commissioner for Commerce & Industry, Lagos State, Dr. Femi Hamzat, Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Lagos State.
In the Committee also are Mrs. Ugo Madueke, representing the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr. Ayodele Durojaiye, Nigerian Ports Authority, Danladi D. Gomwalk, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Ali Indabawa, SA to the minister on Maritime Services and Dr. Babayo Ardo, Deputy Director, Marine Pollution, who will serve as the Secretary of the committee.