Tuesday, June 17, 2014

FG to Develop Six New Deep Seaports Using PPP

The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has disclosed that the federal government had concluded arrangements to develop six new deep seaports in South-west and South-south geographical zones of the country through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Addressing participants at the end of a two-day seminar organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja, Umar underscored the development of the deep seaports as the ultimate solution to the problems hampering the development of the sector.
The other proposed deep seaports according to him, include: “The Lekki seaport in Lekki, Lagos; Ibaka seaport in Akwa Ibom State; Badagry deep seaport in Lagos; and Olokola deep seaport in Ogun and Ondo States.”
The others he added include, Agge deep seaport in Bayelsa State and Ogidigbe seaport, near Escravos in Delta State, which would serve as a hub for the gas revolution initiative of the government.
He explained that the draft business outline case for the propose six deep seaportas has been submitted to government for transaction approval after which advertisement will be made for prospective investor.
The minister stated that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the appointment of the NSC as the interim economic regulator of the Nigerian ports pending the passage of the relevant legislation.
He said: “The appointment of the interim economic regulator was done with clear objectives which government hopes would be achieved both in the short and long terms frame, aimed at making Nigeria the hub of international freight and trade in West Africa.
In a remark, the former Head Interim of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, said piracy and armed robbery at the sea are some of the unwholesome activities that are impeding the growth of the maritime industry, adding that this is giving the country a bad name in international arena.
He said: “We must realise that our new position as the leading economy in Africa places some heavy responsibilities on us as a country.
Consequently, all eyes are on us and the way we resolve some seemingly intractable problems matter to other African countries and to the whole world.”
According to him, there was need for quick dispensation of justice on issues affecting the maritime industry, adding that the onus rests on key operators in the industry and other relevant stakeholders to braze up and update themselves on the new ideas in information and technologies that are emerging.

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