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Stakeholders to brainstorm on Green-field ports development
INDUSTRY operators and government decision makers are set to brainstorm on how Nigeria may evolve functional new ports for larger ocean-going vessels on Thursday as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), in collaboration with a consulting firm, the Golden Edge Consult, has concluded plans to hold the first green-fields port summit in Lagos.
Consult’s Managing Director, Samuel Egbewole, told the Nigerian Tribune that the event, which would hold at the Rockview Hotels in Apapa, would have the Ibadan High Chief and doyen of the maritime industry, Chief Adebayo Babatunde Sarumi, presiding as chairman, while the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, would be the special guest of honour.
"The government is focused on evolving new ports capable of handling larger vessels which the current ports are incapable of doing. it is an essential part of President Goodluck Jonathan's vision and transformation agenda. That is why this summit is so important to every stakeholder" he said, adding that stakeholders expected at the summit would include top officials from the Presidency, concessionaires, freight forwarders, officials of some littoral state governments, shipping lines, master mariners, investors, importers and exporters, among others.
“Government took the decision to build new ports as a result of the soaring increase in volume of cargo coming into the nation seaports and borders,” he highlighted, explaining that statistics recently made available by the NPA showed that while the nation's entire ports throughput might have been expected to peak at about 40 million metric tonnes (MT) of cargo annually, the authority was already handling over 80 million MT, a situation which from time to time, resulted in threatened port congestions.
It would be recalled that the Transport Minister, during the fifth Nigeria International Maritime Ports and Terminals Conference and Expo (NIMPORT 2012), held in Abuja, had emphasised government's plans to partner with the private sector and some state governments to develop deep seaports in the country, listing the ports as the Lekki seaport in Lagos, Badagry deep seaport, also in Lagos, Ibaka deep seaport in Akwa Ibom and Olokola deep seaport in Ogun/Ondo states.
The Minister who on the occasion explained that the Federal Government commitment to the development of deep seaports was meant to decongest the over-stretched port facilities in the country, said his commitment was aimed at promoting international trade in a bid to transform the nation’s seaport into a hub for West and Central Africa sub-regions.Share