The Federal Government has given a Nigerian firm, Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC), a provisional approval through the Ministry of Transportation to construct a deep seaport at Escravos, Delta State tagged Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC-1) for the sum of $2.9 billion.
The promoters of the project said it will promote massive collateral investments in commerce, industry, mining, power, housing, recreation and tourism, etc estimated at $50 billion.
The Chairman of MMCC, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja, who was addressing a stakeholders’ meeting at the weekend, revealed that the project, which is a maritime-driven project, would generate about 40,000 employment and eliminate criminalities such as piracy in the region.
Okoja said the Escravos seaport project, which would be on 30,000 hectares of land in South West of Warri in Delta State, would decongest the Lagos ports and bring in more people into the maritime industry.
“We have gotten a provisional approval from the Federal Government.
“The provisional approval was given through the Ministry of Transportation and we were given a condition, pay $1 billion, we will give you a license. It is like when you need land, you register and you are asked to pay this amount and after paying it, you would be given the land,” he added.
He said the project will be ready in five years, adding that it would boost the economic and national development of Nigeria particularly, Delta State.
Engr. Stephen Kema Okoja, one of the promoters, said Escravos seaport is conceptualized as a modern deep seaport that would handle container Ro-Ro vessels, specialized cargo and general cargo.
“The seaport is designed to primarily serve ESIC-1 and also support Nigeria’s regular international seaborne trade, thus accentuating the contribution of Delta ports to Nigeria’s economic development as well as boosting contributions of Delta State seaports Nigeria’s International seaborne trade from its present to three percent share.”
“Project conceptualized to take advantage of the quick and direct access of ESIC-1 Seaport to the Atlantic ocean as its multimodal transport access to approximately 80 percent of hinterland Nigeria and it’s landlocked countries to transform Delta State into a regional multi-modal transport hub of West Africa,” he added.
Speaking on the specific benefits of ESIC-1, Prof. Charles Asenime, said the central location of ESIC-1 grants Delta State direct multimodal transport accessibility to 70 percent of the Nigerian landmass (four (4) geo-political zones including Abuja) and the littoral nations of the world.
“The development of ESIC-1 project will transform the coastal/foreshore line between Benin river and Forcados river into prime lands for seafront/sea-view property development.
“ESIC-1 Seaport will substantially eliminate congestion in the Lagos seaports. It will provide a solution to the accessibility and low-draft disincentive to mariners that are associated with sailing to Warri Port, Burutu, Koko, Onitsha, and Port Harcourt ports.
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The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo expressed gratitude to the IMO Secretary-General for making out time to visit Nigeria and also having a first-hand opinion on the developmental strides in Nigeria’s maritime sector.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu commended the Dr. Bashir Jamoh-led Management of NIMASA.
The NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh again thanked the IMO Secretary-General for his visit to Nigeria
Jamoh further intimated him that NIMASA has embarked on various projects in the year, 2022, all with the aim of ensuring a robust and conducive maritime environment is attained in Nigeria.
In July 2021, the Federal Executive Council approved N17.4 billion to purchase the new highrise building that is located on Victoria Island.
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