• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Cross River seeks investors’ backing on planned Bakassi Deep Seaport

Cross River seeks investors’ backing on planned Bakassi Deep Seaport

With eye set on bringing efficient port operation closer to businesses in the South-South region, the Cross River State Government (CRSG) has started soliciting investors’ backing to aid the development of the proposed Bakassi Integrated Deep Seaport, which would be situated on a perimeter area of about 36,000 hectares under a Pubic Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The port project, when completed, would help to decentralise port business in Nigeria and bring it closer to businesses in the South-South, Eastern as well as Northern regions. Port business is currently heavily concentrated in Lagos, leading to congestion in the already-stretched commercial city.

Another component of the project is the 275km Calabar-Ogoja-Gakem tolled six-lane superhighway in the first instance, with the possibility of extending the road to neighbouring states in the future.

Both projects, the state government disclosed, were in line with the state’s strategic integrated infrastructure plan that aid at promoting infrastructure development, attracting investment, creating employment and growing its economy.

Given the announcement, Bakassi port has joined the list of State Government-backed deep seaport projects that are presently at various stages of procurement for their establishment and development in Nigeria. Prominent among them are Lekki Deep Seaport and Badagry Deep Seaport both in Lagos, Ibom Deep Seaport in Akwa Ibom as well as Ondo Deep Seaport.

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The port project, which would be developed by the Cross River State Government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), would be located in Idua-Inwang village in Esighi community of Bakassi Local Government Area of Cross River State.

Developing the Greenfield projects, according to a publication by the State Government in the national dailies, would enhance the national cargo handling capacities and serve as logistics corridor for the proposed Bakassi port.

“The Bakassi Deep Seaport Project has been approved by Federal Government of Nigeria as eligible for PPP in the form of Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) model while the superhighway has been approved by the State Government under the same model,” the CRSG stated in the publication.

It further stated that Cross River State Government has engaged the services of CPCS Transcom Nigeria Limited as transaction advisors to assist in the procurement of interested private sector investors with the requisite technical competence, managerial capability and financial resources.

While inviting prospective investors to submit qualification documents in one or both projects, the state government listed the preferred private partners’ responsibilities in the port project to include design, construct, finance, operate and transfer as well as cargo handling, stevedoring, warehousing and delivery.

Other responsibilities include acquisition of cargo handling and operations related equipment; development and maintenance of port superstructure; towage, pilotage, mooring, bunkering, ship chandelling and ship repair and transfer of technology through training of local personnel.

“While the preferred private partner’s responsibilities with respect to the Calabar-Ogoja-Gakem six-lane superhighway include design construct and finance as well as tolling and maintenance of the highway,” the publication further reads.