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Nigeria Launches Audacious $1.1bn Plan To Rehabilitate 100-Year Old Tincan Island Port, Others

Nigeria Launches Audacious $1.1bn Plan To Rehabilitate 100-Year Old Tincan Island Port, Others

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In a bid to enhance trade competitiveness and wrest cargo from neighbouring countries, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on Tuesday, announced plans to embark on a $1.1 billion port rehabilitation project.
Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello Koko, disclosed the plan at the ongoing 43rd Port Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA) conference in Lagos.
Koko also revealed the development of a 25-year port masterplan that would serve as a national working document uniting all stakeholders towards marine and logistics development.
He said the port rehabilitation project would cover the over 100 years old Tincan Island Port, Apapa Port, and other ports across the country.
Koko added that with almost every port in Nigeria requiring rehabilitation, NPA was initiating a substantial overhaul, starting with the TinCan and Apapa ports in Lagos.
He said the objective of NPA was to enhance the physical infrastructure of the ports to accommodate vessels of all sizes and increase the draft at the quayside, with the aim of achieving draft depths of up to 14 meters. He said the initiative would make Nigerian ports more competitive on a global scale.
The managing director stated that NPA was also strengthening collaboration with the private sector to establish new seaports.
He said the Lekki Deep Seaport had already commenced operations, “and the Badagry Deep Seaport recently signed an agreement with a Middle Eastern party, with construction scheduled to commence early next year.”
The endeavour, he stated, “exemplifies NPA’s determination to create a multimodal transportation system connecting all ports seamlessly.”
Koko said the 25-year port masterplan would guide the location, sizes and activities of ports, terminals, and jetties in the country. He said the masterplan would serve as a national working document, uniting all stakeholders towards marine and logistics development.
Recognising the inefficiencies associated with road-dependent cargo evacuation, he said NPA was actively working on alternative initiatives, which he said included implementing barges and expanding rail infrastructure.
He informed the gathering that the rail line had reached Apapa port and would soon be extended to the TinCan port.
Koko said the survey for deploying cargo rail and tracks to Onne port had been completed, setting the stage for the project’s kick off next year.
To streamline operations and reduce cost, Koko said NPA was embracing automation.
According to him, “The authority has automated its collection system and is collaborating with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to introduce a state-of-the-art port community system, poised to optimise cargo clearance processes.”
He said NPA was working on clarifying the responsibilities of government agencies within the ports with the newly developed port process manual aimed at reducing overlaps and eliminating duplication of duties.
On security, he said the deployment of the Deep Blue project, equipped with air and sea assets, was enhancing security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) and had contributed significantly to the reduction of piracy incidents in Nigerian waters.
Koko stated that NPA was collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to reduce bottlenecks and cut the cost of doing business within the ports.
Earlier in his speech, President PMAWCA, Mr. Martin Boguikouma, urged African countries to address challenges facing the region to be able to receive the new volume of traffic that would emerge from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Boguikouma listed ways to solve the challenge to include collaboration between customs and port authorities to harmonise customs procedures.
The PMAWCA president stated, “We need to ensure capacity building of all seaport and customs officials and sensitise them on how to address cross border trade.
“There is a need to work in reducing transport cost, investing in efficient transport infrastructure, and maritime safety through enhanced interstate cooperation.”
He noted that Gabon had put in place measures to facilitate successful free trade.
Boguikouma said one of the measures was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on facilitation of trade, harmonised customs duty, explaining that this is important for AfCFTA.


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