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Though there have been many approvals before her emergence as the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mrs. Hadiza Usman has given credible hints that some approved deep seaport scheme that failed to fall in to the new 25-yrear shipping master plan may bungled.
It would be recalled that last administration randomly gave approval to all sorts of deep seaport schemes and dry port projects with minimal studies on their viability and relevance. Some of the schemes were approved both for private investors and some states government.
Addressing participants in Lagos during the celebration of 2016 World Maritime Day (WMD), Mrs. Usman said “no seaport would be approved pending the outcome a 25-year port master plan which the Federal Ministry of Transportation through the NPA is currently working on”.
She added that “We have the nod from the Ministry of Transport that no port will be approved pending the outcome of the 25-year port master plan which we are currently working on. And of course, we understand that with what we are doing regarding the port master plan, not all of the ports will be approved eventually”.
It would be recalled that there are several deep seaports planned across the country’s Southwest and South-south regions, specifically in Lagos and Ogun/Ondo states and Cross River and Akwa-Ibom states respectively. Some of the ports are the Lekki Deep Seaport and the Badagry Deep Seaport in Lagos, the Olokunla Port in Ogun and Ondo states and the Ibom Deep Seaport in Ibaka, Akwa-Ibom State.
Though building deep seaports for receiving ultra-mega vessels with huge economies of scale remain an emerging idea globally, experts have raised concerns on the need to concentrate on just one or two of them owing to the current economic situation in the country.
Most of the ports are being developed in partnerships with the Federal Government through the NPA and statistics show that available ports are yet to get maximum utilization.
Corroborating issues with the NPA boss, lead speaker at the event, a former Captian with the NPA, Alhaji Adamu Biu said “I strongly advise that we get only one deep seaport off now because of current economic situation and even if we have private participation coming up for all these deep seaports, we know that the terms will keep changing”.
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