The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has announced that it is going to embark on another contract for the dredging of Calabar port channel at a whooping N50billion; this is even as importers and shipping companies are being encouraged to utilize flat bottom vessels to carry products to the port in the interim.
While disclosing this in Lagos last week, Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman said that the contract is already going through a procurement process.
She encouraged importers and shipping companies to help the NPA in area of revenue generation through use of flat bottom vessels in order to justify the N50billion required to dredge the Calabar port channel.
In addition to this, Hadiza assured that dredging of Warri Port up-to seven meters is underway and that it would be completed within few months.
"The development of Calabar port is ongoing through a procurement process, we have an estimated cost of over N50billion for the dredging of Calabar port, we are looking at the attendant revenue generation that would justify such an investment for Nigerian ports to dredge the Calabar port".
"We are looking at the numbers to justify that N50billion required to get Calabar port navigable, we are also encouraging importers to utilize the flat bottom vessels to bring in cargo".
Already she said that NPA has two flat bottom vessels in Calabar port area which would soon be deployed for movement of cargoes. According to her, the vessels do not require additional draft in the water before navigation.
"These are vessels that can navigate and come in through the waterways without the extra draft, we have two of the vessels in Calabar which we are deploring, we are encouraging shipping companies to make use of these flat bottom vessels as this would assist the Nigerian ports to have vessels coming that do not require that level of investment in dredging" she said
On the Warri port dredging, the NPA boss said that: "We ought to dredge Warri port up-to 7 meters in the next few months and this would go a long way in reducing the congestion we have in Lagos port and provide access for cargoes coming into Nigeria through our Delta port".