The rehabilitation of the country’s ports, scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2024 will gulp a whopping $1.1 billion.
This is according to the managing director of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko.
He said this during a panel session at the 43rd Annual Council Meeting of the Port Management Association of West and Central Africa.
According to him, nearly all the ports in Nigeria need rehabilitation and NPA is initiating a substantial overhaul, starting with the Tincan Island and Apapa Ports in Lagos.
He said the objective of the authority is to enhance the physical infrastructure of these ports to accommodate vessels of all sizes and increase the draft at the quayside. “Increasing the draft is intended to achieve draft depths of up to 14 meters and this initiative will render Nigerian ports more competitive on a global scale,’’ he said.
Bello Koko said the NPA was also strengthening collaborations with the private sector to establish new seaports.
Citing the example of the Lekki Deep Seaport, he said it had already commenced operations, while the Badagry Deep Seaport recently signed an agreement with a Middle Eastern party, with construction scheduled to commence early next year.
He noted that these endeavours were a demonstration of the NPA’s determination to create a multimodal transportation system connecting all ports seamlessly.
The managing director further said the authority was actively working on alternative initiatives like barges and also expanding rail infrastructure, to reduce the challenges of cargo movement by road.
On security challenges on waterways, he said, ‘’the deployment of the deep blue sea project, equipped with air and sea assets, would enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea and contribute to significantly reducing piracy incidents within Nigerian waters.’’
Bello-Koko added that the NPA was collaborating closely with the Nigerian Customs Service in reducing bottlenecks and cutting the cost of doing business within the ports.