There are indications that despite having a number of deep seaport projects planned by prospective private and state government ownerships across the country, not all will get approval from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
Managing director of NPA, Hadiza 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.
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.
The need for building deep seaports for receiving ultra-mega vessels with huge economies of scale have been in the front burner for nations in recent time, with Nigeria responding to such need, but having so many deep seaport plans at the same time.
Experts have also 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.
“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,” said Capt Adamu Biu, a master mariner and former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.
With concerns that there is just one channel and point of entry in some of the areas, such as the Calabar and Akwa-Ibom coastal axis, the NPA boss, Usman said not all of the planned ports would eventually be approved.
“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,” Usman said.