By Steve Agbota
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) through the Federal Ministry of Transportation has secured the nod of the Federal Executive Council for the construction of Badagry Deep Seaport Project.
This is coming on the heels of the receipt earlier this year of the Full Business Case Compliance Certificate on the Badagry Deep Seaport and the Modular Floating Dockyard from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
The project which is to be developed in four (4) phases through Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) Public Private Partnership (PPP) model is a full scale Greenfield Commercial Deep Seaport conceived to augment Nigeria’s existing port capacity and open new vistas for trade facilitation.
In addition to augmenting the existing port capacity and alleviating traffic congestion in the Lagos ports, the Badagry Deep Seaport project is expected to improve availability of modern port facilities and quality services, provide value for money to government by easing the pressure on national budget by transferring huge investment required for port infrastructural development and operations to the private sector while boosting revenue, accelerate Nigerian economic prosperity and propel economic empowerment of Nigerians through reduced transportation cost and seamless logistics for the attainment of hub status.
The Greenfield Multipurpose port is located in Gberefun area of Badagry, Lagos state which is about 55km west of Apapa and Tincan Island Port Complexes along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
With a channel depth of 19m metres, a total area of port development of 197 hectares and turning circle of 800m, the new facility has quay length of 2,470 metres among other distinctive features. The Badagry Deep Seaport is set to further position Nigeria to maximise the country comparative advantage in littoral assets.
The MD/CEO NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, had while receiving the first ever vessel to berth at the soon-to-be operational Lekki Deep Seaport said: “Our strategic intent of becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable ports services in Africa rests heavily on how well we are able to deepen our efficiencies through construction of deep seaports in order to leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale.”
Bello Koko further posited that automation remained the most veritable tool for assuring port efficiency. “This provides an insight into the path we are already toeing as a management team to govern the operationalisation of not just the forthcoming Badagry, Ibom and Bonny Deep Seaports,” he said.
With this approval today, with $2.59 billion worth of financial investment that has been confirmed by industry watchers to possess the capacity to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, Badagry Deep Seaport has been positioned in the annals of history as Nigeria’s second Deep Seaport with potential to convert the nation’s maritime endowments into prosperity for its people.