At last, Buhari okays APM Terminals’ N793bn Badagry mega-port project

The Federal Government has approved the construction of the proposed mega-seaport in Badagry, Lagos State.

Minister for Information, Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this yesterday at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held in Abuja, said the project would be built by the private sector.

The briefing was also attended by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.

Mohammed said the approval for the greenfield port development in Badagry is the first step to approving the establishment of a new seaport in the country.

The approval, he said, showed that Nigeria is still a very preferred investment destination in Africa despite the challenges it is facing.

Also speaking on the port project, Fashola, while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the approval, said, “There are bigger vessels now being built across the world that require larger depths and drafts to berth. Now some of our competitors on the continent like Djibouti are building bigger ports, so if we don’t build this port we risk becoming uncompetitive and we risk a threat to our maritime hub status in the sense that we may become a transshipment port instead of a port of original destination.”

Stressing that the work on the port started in 2012, he said that all its financing is coming from the private sector.

“Again that is consistent with what this government’s stands for in terms of allowing private capital and competency to come into the development of our infrastructure,” he said.

He stated that the Badagry port project was delayed because of the refusal of the last administration to grant approval for it as the port development was under federal government’s control.

Ameachi said that it would take five years to construct the port, which he said “will bring $2.558 billion (N793billion) into the system”.

“And that in this period when we are looking for foreign exchange, it is going to bring a total of $2.558 billion into the system and federal and Lagos state government would not contribute financially other than the land given by the Lagos state government,” he stated.

Leading global terminal operator, APM Terminals announced in November 2012 that it would embark on the construction of the ambitious Badagry mega-port and free trade zone.

CEO, APM Terminals Africa-Middle East Regional, Peder Sondergaard, said at the time that the Badagry Free Trade Zone will include a power plant, oil refinery, industrial park and warehousing and Inland Container Deport functions.

On completion, he said, the deepwater full service port will be one of the largest in Africa with seven kilometres of quay and 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of dedicated yard, and will include state-of the art facilities for container, bulk, liquid bulk, Ro/Ro and general cargo as well as oil and gas operations support and a barge terminal.

Sondergaard had said at the time that APM Terminals was leading a consortium made up of Orlean Invest, the Macquarie Group, Oando Plc, Chagoury Group and Terminal Investment Limited for the realisation of the multibillion dollars project.

APM Terminals operates a Global Terminal Network of 72 operating port and terminal facilities and 140 Inland Services operations, as well as providing independent Crane Engineering Services to the global port industry, with a presence in 69 countries on five continents.

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