The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reiterated its commitment to seeing the Ibaka Deep Seaport to fruition.
Receiving the report of the ministerial project development and steering committee, made up of officials of the Federal Ministry of Transport, NPA and the consulting firm, Felak Concept Limited, which was at the Marina headquarters of the NPA to submit a copy of the final Outline Business Case (OBC) recently, the authority’s boss, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, said the Akwa Ibom State Government, the promoter of the multi-billion naira project, would continue to enjoy the NPA’s support and unflinching commitment to the project which the committee disclosed had so far attracted 20 local and international investors.
The project’s OBC was presented to Abdullahi by the managing director of Felak Concept, Dr Aisha Achimugu and was also said to have earlier been presented to the minister of transport, Idris Umar, in Abuja.
“The NPA’s participation in port projects, under the Private Partnership Projects (PPP) has been very beneficial and this can be seen as demonstrated in the Onne Port project.
“NPA as a stakeholder and a technical regulator has much to gain from the success of the deep seaport project. So, we appreciate your hard work,” Abdullahi said.
The NPA boss further commended the governor of Akwa Ibom state, Mr Godswill Akpabio, for initiating the project, noting that the seaport’s “enormous economic potential and expected contribution to the well-being of the state and the nation at large” could not be under-emphasised.
“Other states in the federation should emulate Akwa-Ibom State in this direction by embarking on projects that will promote the well being of their citizenry and improve their economic empowerment,” he said.
He noted the federal government’s desire to encourage states to invest in the maritime sector, under the PPP arrangement, such as other proposed deep seaports, especially Lekki and Badagry deep seaports in Lagos and the Olokola Deep Sea Port in Ogun State. Earlier, the secretary of the committee, Alhaji Dikko Bala, said that the project would be executed under the Long Term Amortisation Scheme (LTAS).
“Already, about 20 investors, both local and foreign have indicated their interests in the project,” he said. The minister of transport, Idris Umar, had recently announced the commencement of the procurement procedure for the much awaited seaport project to be located at a fishing town, Ibaka, near Oron.
Source : Leadership