The managing director of Nigerian Ports Authourity (NPA), Malam Habib Abdullahi has assured that the new Phase Four expansion project at the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT) in Onne, Rivers state would be completed before the end of the third quarter of this year.
Represented by the executive director, finance and administration, Mr Olumide Oduntan and the general manager, Capital Projects; Engr Rufai Mohammed at the inspection of the US$370Million port expansion project by the Good Governance Tour team led by the minister of information, Mr Labaran Maku to Onne port last Friday, the NPA managing director added that the expansion which is for berths 9,10,and11 is in response to the increasing cargo traffic to the strategic port.
He also stated that the expansion is on a 820metres land and thatthe new facilty has a depth of 12 metres.
Also briefing the team, the permanent secretary, ministry of transport, Engr. Nebolisa Emodi confirmed that the Federal Executive Council had given approval for the project which is being funded by INTELS and that it is on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) for 20 years.
The NPA boss affirmed that other projects that are included in the Phase Four project are the 4.5 kilometre road network, a 6000cubic metre water capacity water treatment plant that will be connected to eight boreholes for fire-fighting through dedicated water hydrants.
According to him, apart from the Onne FOT expansion project, NPA has also rehabilitated the Lagos Harbour Moles,the Apapa port railway network as well as the 1.6kilometre dual carriage way in the Lagos Port Complex.
And reacting to the project and after an extensive tour of the construction site, the minister of information expressed satisfaction with the NPA and the supervisory ministry of transport for the manner in which the FOT expansion project was going on.
He stated that the project is futuristic and is a positive and commendable response to the pressure on Lagos ports, just as he acknowldged that the future of port services is deep sea port.
“This is very big project, when we awarded the contract at the Federal Executive Council, we knew we were doing a big project for the economy of Nigeria, this fourth phase covers 90 hectares, it’s a huge area, you can see the land reclamation going on, it’s all part of the project.”, he stated, even as he reaffirmed that the project would be concluded in August under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) concept.
“INTELS will manage it for about 20 years and recover its money so government has not invested a kobo of its own and that is a good policy of the government”, he said, even as he stressed that what the Nigerian government is doing is what is obtainable in other developing economies where, according to him, government provides appropriate policy to enable the private sector to drive the economy.
According to him, government is developing deep sea ports in other parts of the country. He specifically mentioned the deep sea port in Lekki in Lagos and Ibaka in Akwa Ibom state, saying that government is seeking investors.