By Steve Agbota, Lagos
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) through the Federal Ministry of Transportation has secured the nod of the Federal Executive Council for the 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 existing traffic congestion in the existing ports of Lagos, the Badagry Deep Seaport project is expected to improve the availability of modern port facilities and quality service, provide value for money to the 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 which is a necessary precondition for the attainment of hub status.
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The Greenfield Multipurpose port is located in the 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 and a quay length of 2,470 metres among other distinctive features, the Badagry Deep Seaport is set to further position Nigeria to maximize the comparative advantage that the country’s littoral assets confer.
The MD/CEO NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, 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 the 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 operationalization 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.