Determined to decongest ports in Lagos, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), has said that plans are on to obtain the Federal Executive Council’s (FEC) approval for the development of Bonny Deep Seaport in Rivers State.
Mohammed Bello-Koko, the managing director of the NPA, who disclosed this during the recent Ministerial tour of the Eastern ports, expressed optimism that the approval for the development of a deep seaport in Bonny will be achieved before the end of this present administration.
He said that some preliminary processes have started for the establishment of the Bonny Deep Seaport.
According to him, the port project was stalled due to a change in the initial location of the deep seaport as a result of existing pipelines.
Bello-Koko said that a new location has been identified and it has a natural draught of 17 meters, which shows the sign of a deep seaport.
While pointing out that the development of a deep seaport in the Eastern part of the country would be very critical to the country, he said that the next thing was for the Minister to look at the port proposal and determine the next option.
“We hope the Minister will get approval for Bonny Deep seaport because having the port would mean that Nigeria has deep seaports in different locations of the country. I am sure the Minister will get the approval for the Bonny Deep Seaport,” the NPA boss said.
Earlier during the visit, Muazu Sambo, the minister of transportation, promised that the Federal Government will address issues of infrastructural decay affecting trade facilitation at Onne Port.
Sambo said the visit to Onne was to find out the challenges facing the port to enable the Federal Government to take action that can ease trade facilitation.
“We wanted to see why the ports here are not being patronised as they should be. Whatever the challenges are, we are going to address them squarely. From here, we can draw up short-term and medium-term goals,” Sambo said.
At Intels’ terminals, the Minister was informed of three berths that have collapsed for a long time. He, therefore, directed that the NPA should address the issue as the authority has already planned the rehabilitation of dilapidated infrastructures at the port.
Charles Etobo, the deputy managing director of Brawal, complained that his company was facing a shortage of berths, adding that this has made the terminal to lose one of its clients.
Meanwhile, Bello-Koko assured that issues affecting patronage of Eastern ports are being addressed.