Press "Enter" to skip to content
Isaac Job, Uyo
In continuation of industrialisation drive, the Akwa Ibom State government has assured that the Ibom Deep Seaport will begin operations in 2021.
Chairman of Technical Committee on Ibom Deep Seaport (IDSP) Mrs Mfon Usoro said yesterday in Uyo that the procurement processes for the operators of the seaport have been completed with a consortium of Bollore` group plus Power China to run the operations.
She said the consortium is well-renowned in the operations of ports and terminals and have experience in Africa, adding that the government has commenced operations with the consortium on the Public Private Partnership agreement.
She mentioned that the committee on the Ibom Deep Sea Port, Ministry of Transport, Nigeria Ports Authority and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) have set up an aggressive timetable to produce a draft document required for the project to be approved by the Federal government.
She stated that in six months time, all necessary agreements and documents for the commencement of the seaport will be finalised and sent to the Federal government for approval.
Usoro explained that the project team is working hard to eliminate possible delays that would pose a challenge to the take-off of the project to beat competition from other countries.
She however warned that if the country does not take advantage of the traffic that the establishment of the seaport would attract to Nigeria by eliminating delays to the project, it may be lost to other countries in the region.
Mrs Usoro commended the state government for demonstrating commitment to make the project a reality, assuring that it has so far invested huge funds into the project.
“The Ibom deep seaport project has already come out of the pipeline to the extent that a preferred bidder has emerged from the procurement process that we started in 2017.
“The preferred bidder is an international, well-renowned, experienced port and terminal operator, that is the Bollore` group plus Power China came together to form a consortium. We have covered the market because they have the experience in Africa and own a lot of ports.
“The goal of our establishing a hub port is getting to reality; with the procurement having brought up a preferred bidder, it is hoped that in 2021, the port will be operational. Right now, we have commenced operations with the preferred bidder on the PPP agreement.
“The major challenge that we face and anticipate is delay in the processes but happily we have a project team that understands that delay is not in the interest of our project because we have other competing deep sea port projects in the region.
“If Nigeria delays, then the traffic will be taken by other deep seaports in the region like in Togo, Ghana, Cote d’ivoire and Cameroon. So the project team on the public authority aspect understands that the delay we anticipated should not happen.
“That is why we have all agreed and adopted an aggressive, very optimistic timelines. Apart from that delay which imparts on the commercial indices of the business itself, we don’t anticipate any major, deal breaking obstacle.
“2021 is the date that we have agreed that the port goes operational and we are going to complete all the agreement in the next six months and obtain the Federal government approval,” she said.