Bonny deep seaport construction to commence soon, NPA confirms
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has disclosed that the construction of the Bonny Deep Seaport would kick off within the year and run concurrently with the construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line, which also extends to the seaport.
This was disclosed during the inspection of the proposed site for construction of the Bonny Deep Seaport by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, in the company of the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Acting Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko and experts from the Ministry, NPA and the contractor.
Amaechi, in a press statement by the Ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Eric Ojiekwe, noted that in choosing the site, considerations must be made towards cost reduction and compensation payment.
He said while the southeast part of the Island was also viable, the most feasible may be the area to the West in Finima, as it would require less dredging.
“The experts have said it will take only 500 metres of dredging at this point to get to 17metres draught which is our target for the depth of the seaport. The moment you reclaim 500metres into the ocean, you get to 17metres draught. You don’t need further dredging. While on the other end, you need 1.16kms dredging to get to the water. It will be more expensive to dredge 1.16km than to build a rail line to this place. We can do the cost analysis and come to a decision,” he said.
Amaechi also said the selection of the area, when finally decided upon, would ensure that the NNPC pipes would not be tampered with or moved for the rail lines extending to the Seaport to be laid.
“It would also be easier to pay compensation here and take the rail through this area instead of running it through the other end where there are pipes. And compensation would be paid on properties, not on land. If the land is not enough, the Federal Government would acquire more for the expansion,” Amaechi said.
The NPA boss said the ministry, agency and contractor, reconfirm the right location for the port, adding that, although the final studies will be made and conclusions reached, the deep seaport has a natural draft of about 17metres.
He said the port, which will have a capacity of about 500,000 TEUs on completion, is a necessary infrastructure for Nigeria.
Bello-Koko said Nigeria has over 823 kilometres of coastline, noting that the idea of building deep seaports will bring more economic value to the country, which will eventually become a maritime hub in Africa or the West African sub-region.
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