Lagos — FOLLOWING the visit of a delegation led by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, recently, to resolve the ideal site for the construction of a green-field deep seaport at Finima, Bonny Island in Rivers State, the Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko has assured that the Authority will provide the enabling environment for the speedy actualization of the multi-billion Naira project for the benefit of the Niger Delta region and the larger Nigerian economy.
Speaking with the media while on an assessment tour of the Onne Port Complex and the Rivers Port Complex in Port Harcourt after the visit to Bonny, the Bello-Koko described the Bonny Deep Seaport project as a “game changer” that would significantly transform the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria based on its multiplier effect such as massive job opportunities, better welfare and improved living conditions of Nigerians.
The Bonny Deep Seaport project covering a land area of 275.22 hectares is to be developed through direct investment by Messrs. China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) Nigeria Limited, on a Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis.
The project scope includes construction of a breakwater, revetment, container berth, general goods berth, dredging of the access channel and turning basin, construction of office buildings and warehouses.
The new port with a draught of 17 meters will have a terminal capacity of 500,000 TEUs per annum and 100,000 DWT general cargo berth.
The port project will be boosted by the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri rail-line with a branch at Elelenwo in Port Harcourt, heading to Dere, Bodo and terminating in Bonny.
The Bonny seaport, the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line and a new Railway Industrial Park in Port Harcourt, all combined with a value of about $3.2billion, were flagged-off in March this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NPA boss disclosed that with the identification of the best site for the Bonny Deep Seaport project, the construction process will now take off in earnest.
He said, “having resolved the location with the highest economic value for Bonny Deep Seaport, we’re very hopeful construction would start this year. The location chosen has a natural draft of 17meters. On the Western flank is the Lekki Deep Seaport which will come on stream next year.
These port projects will usher a new era of tremendous economic prosperity for our dear nation and further consolidate our position as the regional trade hub in West and Central Africa”, he said.