Hadiza Bala-usman, managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said the promoters of the multi-billion dollars Badagry Deep Seaport Project, has finally made payment of $500,000 commitment deposit into an escrow account to signify their commitment towards the port project.
The project is being developed through a publicprivate partnership (PPP) overseen by the Federal Government, Federal Ministry of Transport, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment and Lagos state government.
It is also being overseen by a private consortium of APM Terminals, Orlean Invest, Oando, Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) and Macquarie.
Giving an update into the project, Usman said the promoters made the payments into the escrow account a month ago, and the authority is now perfecting arrangement to conclude on the final business case of the port project.
“If you recall, the concerns that we had on the Badagry Seaport was the fact that the transaction adviser, put in all government service into the Outline Business Case as the service that would be provided by the Port Concessionaire. Meaning that towage services, and all manner of marine services that are originally the responsibilities of government through the Nigerian Ports Authority were now handed over to the proponents as parts of what they would do in managing the Ports,” Usman explained in a recent interview with Thisday.
According to her, the NPA kicked against such Outline Business Case such that it was reviewed to include its comments, and ensure that those functions were removed from the Badagary Port Project.
“So, the NPA had to look very closely into the Outline Business Case to ensure that government is not shortchanged in the Badagry Deep Seaport project. We are through with that, and we are going to go to the next step where the final business case would reflect all the comments of the NPA and all our duties have now be reclaimed as duties of the government,” she said.
Recall that the Badagry Port and Free Zone project, proposed to be constructed at Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria, will be Africa’s biggest and most advanced seaport when it starts operations.
The new port is expected to have an annual throughput capacity of 1.8 million Twenty- foot Equivalent Units (TEUS). The proposal for the project was announced in 2012. Feasibility studies have been completed and construction works yet to start. The project will be implemented in four phases, with the overall project cost estimated to range between $2bn and $3bn.
The proposed site is located 55km west of Apapa and the port of Lagos, along the 55km long Lagos-badagry Expressway, that is being upgraded from a four-lane to a ten-lane expressway.
It is expected that the new port will primarily ease pressure on the existing port of Lagos, which handles approximately 85 percent of the country’s non-oil throughput. It will further alleviate the country’s ports, which are on the verge of exceeding their cargo handling capacities, and address the country’s annual container traffic, which is expected to grow to 10 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units by 2030.