The Federal Government has inaugurated an eight-member Steering and Project Development Committee for the Badagry Deep Seaport in Lagos.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja last Friday, urged members of the team to bring their experience and expertise to bear, stressing that government’s aim of developing seaports across the country was to facilitate international trade.
He said: “It is worthy of note that the maritime sector of Nigeria, with 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 maximise the potential of this key sector of the economy, the government has created the enabling environment to encourage public-private partnership arrangement, particularly in the development of seaports to facilitate international trade.”
Umar said it was not in doubt that the nation’s existing seaports at Apapa, Tin-Can, Onne, Port-Harcourt, Calabar and Warri were overstretched.
According to him, 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 added.
Umar said that the Badagry Deep Seaport would be developed jointly by the Federal Government and Lagos State Government in partnership with the private investor, to accommodate high volume of cargo through international maritime trade and to enable Nigeria attain the status of a maritime hub for West and Central Africa.
He said: “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 and related support services that the envisaged port will attract.
In summary, the Badagry Deep Seaport is a multi-purpose port that accommodates large and heavy load vessels.”
The Minister said that the committee members were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Lagos State Government, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Members of the committee include Mrs. Olusola Oworu, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Mrs. Ugo Madueke, Mr. Ayo Durojaiye and Mr. Danladi Gomwalk, among others.
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