In a bid to decongest the over-flooded Tincan and Apapa ports in Lagos, Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) Ltd has announced the intention to build a deep seaport in Escravos, Delta State to the tune of US$2.9 billion.
This was made known by the Chairman, MMCC, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja, last Friday, in a meeting with stakeholders concerning the proposed Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex project in Lagos.
According to Nairametrics, “The project which is expected to be completed within 5 years would be run on a build, own, operate and transfer model for a period of 50 years with funding coming from overseas.”
Quoting the MMCC Chairman, the online publication said, “MMCC is the promoter of the Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC-1) project; this is a maritime-driven project cited in Escravos in Delta State, on approximately 31 hectares of land.
“This project will consist of a deep seaport, others and a platform to drive resources from one point to another.
“We went into this project because we have the capacity, experience and connections; we decided to deploy them to solve the maritime problem of the country,” he said.
He further disclosed, “As a form of support, the government is bringing land; we will pay for it and then we will pay our tax. The Nigerian Ports Authority’s role is that of monitoring.’
Deconstructing the development, Nairametrics said, “The construction of this deep seaport would help boost employment opportunities, give Delta State direct multimodal transport accessibility to 70% of Nigeria’s landmass, four geo-political zones and Abuja, and several nations of the world.
“It would help reduce the pressure on the Lagos ports, which is characterized by congestion and long delay in clearing goods, improve the ease of doing business at the ports and provide support for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement operations, among others.
“A couple of deep seaport projects are going on across the country, to help decongest the Lagos ports. Some of these seaport projects include the Lekki deep seaport which is expected to be operational by next year, the $4.6 billion Ibom deep seaport, the bonny deep seaport which will be linked to the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Rail line and the Warri deep seaport,” it wrote.
Azuka Edokobi is a Writer , a Farmer, a Supply Chain Expert and an Entrepreneur