• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Badagry port will support Nigeria’s industrial development plans, says Aganga

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As APM Terminals finalises arrangement to commence construction works on the proposed Badagry mega port project, Olusegun Aganga, the minister of trade and investment, has identified the port facility as a critical tool that will aid Nigeria’s industrial development.

“We are excited about the Badagry port project and how this multi-purpose facility aligns with our industrial development plans of the nation,” said Aganga, when he and a delegation of government officials and advisors visited APM Terminals’ headquarters in the Hague, Netherlands to meet with Senior APM Terminals leaders as part of the ongoing discussions on port infrastructure investment to promote Nigerian economic development through access to world class logistics capabilities.

According to him, good port facilities are linked to the industrial development of the countries, that is why Nigeria welcomes more port investment.

The proposed Badagry port promises to transform Nigeria’s global trade access by creating a modern multi-purpose port on the African continent, with container, bulk, petrochemical and RoRo cargo-handling capability just 55 km (34 miles) from the City of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub as well as the fastest growing city, with 20 million population growth estimate.

The port development is coming at a time the nation recognises the increasing pressure on trade and economic performance such that governments are partnering with private terminal operators to accelerate infrastructure development, create new jobs and attract more investment from world markets through a competitive port system.

Findings have shown that the overall African port utilisation currently exceeds 70 percent and is expected to reach 80 percent over the next decade, resulting in high port congestion and constrained economic growth.

However, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected Nigeria’s GDP growth rates at 7.2 percent in 2013 and 7 percent in 2014, with Africa forecasted to see economic growth of 5.5 percent this year. While the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has estimated Africa’s infrastructure spending gap at USD 48 billion, thus the need for more infrastructure development.

“Last year, APM Terminals committed more than USD 175 million in investments across her African portfolio. We want to continue this pace to serve the ambitions of African countries and people,” said Peder Sondergaard, APM Terminals Africa-Middle East Regional CEO.

In Apapa, APM Terminals has invested USD200 million since 2006, creating West Africa’s busiest container terminal, with throughput of 618,000 TEUs in 2012, and Africa’s largest mobile harbour crane port. An additional USD135 million now is being invested to expand annual capacity at the facility to 1.2 million TEUs by 2014.

In Onne, Nigeria, the company is investing USD30 million in upgrades, yard expansion, paving, new equipment and safety improvements to double the capacity of the West African Container Terminal.

“We see our African investment initiatives not only as an attractive business strategy, but also as a responsibility in promoting economic growth and social progress in underserved emerging markets,” said Sondergaard.