• Friday, July 19, 2024
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Delta government revalidates approval of $27.29 Escravos Seaport

Delta government revalidates approval of $27.29 Escravos Seaport

…As developer awaits FG’s revalidation

Delta State Government has revalidated the approval granted to the developer of the proposed $27.29 billion Escravos Industrial Complex (ESIC) project in Delta State.

In addition to the state government revalidation, the developer has received assurance from the Federal Government that the revalidation on the earlier granted provisional approval would soon be granted.

This was disclosed to journalists in Lagos on Wednesday by Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja (rtd), chairman of Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC), developer and lead promoter of the port project.

“We have received a revalidation from Delta State Government, which was communicated to us early this week. We are also in touch with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, the supervisory ministry for this project and they have assured us that the revalidation of the Federal Government would be granted before the expiration of the June deadline that the project financier gave us,” he said.

He said the project would run across eight ministries including the Ministry of Solid Minerals, the Ministry of Works, the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, and the Ministry of Power.

According to him, the port developer and its partners are bringing a development fund of $27.29 billion to support the present administration in its strive to attract foreign direct investment, develop the economy, and create jobs.

He called on stakeholders at different levels to join hands to build Nigeria’s stressed economy by creating an enabling environment for the port project to thrive for the growth of the nation’s economy.

Okoja said the developer has also secured both financial and developmental partners.

“The EDIB International of Hong Kong had expressed willingness to invest in the project as the financial partner for the port project that would be located on 31,000 hectares of land in Escravos (Gbaramatu Island/Omadino) Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State,” he said.

Okoja said the port project would open up Delta State and seven other states including FCT – Abuja to international investors in the area of trade, commerce, and industry.

He further disclosed that the project also involves building seven inland dry ports in Bayelsa, Imo, Delta, Edo, Kogi, and Abuja and that all the deliverables would be achieved within five years of commencing construction.

Giving insight into the deliverables of the port project, Ausbet Udebu, director at MMCC, said the project involves one deep seaport, inland ports in seven states, building of an intermodal transport system for cargo evacuation including 45km coastal roads, 150km rail line that would connect existing Warri-Ajaokuta-Itape railway and 600km of marine network.

He said there would be an independent power infrastructure that involves 2,000 megawatts of Independent Power Project (IPP), two 500 megawatts of IPP in two inland ports, and five 250 megawatts of IPP in five inland ports.

According to him, there would be a Free Trade Zone, an industrial park, and a Central Business District.

Udebu disclosed that Anambra and Niger States would have equity ownership in the ESIC project.

Meanwhile, BusinessDay earlier reported that the federal and state governments were delaying in granting final approval for the project to takeoff but this is now being resolved by the revalidation granted by the Delta State Government.

The project would be executed through a Joint Venture Partnership with a Nigerian firm Mercury Maritime Concession Company Limited.