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Construction of 500, 000 TEUs Bonny Port to commence soon

The Federal Ministry of Transportation has said that the construction of Bonny Deep Seaport with a capacity of 500, 000 Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) would commence very soon

 

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, noted that in choosing the site, considerations must be made towards cost reduction and ease in paying compensations.

 

In a statement by the ministry’s Direc- tor of Press and Public Relations, Mr Eric Ojiekwe, the minister said that while the South-East part of the Island was also viable, the most feasible might be the area to the West in Finima, as it would require less dredging.

 

According to him, experts had said that it would take only 500 metres of dredging at this point to get to 17 metres draught which was government target for the depth of the seaport.

 

Amaechi said:”The moment you reclaim 500 metres 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 stressed that the selection of the area, when finally decided upon, would ensure that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipes would not be tampered with or moved for the rail lines extending to the Seaport to be laid, adding that it would also be easier to pay compensations here and take the rail through this area instead of running it through the other end where there are pipes.

 

The minister explained that compensation would be paid on properties, not on land, noting that if the land was not enough, the Federal Government would acquire more for the expansion.

 

Also, the Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Koko, said that the essence of the event was to reconfirm the right location for the port, adding that final studies would be made and conclusions reached.

 

He said: “The other location had pipes. So, we believe that this one will be perfect. It has a natural draft of about 17 meters. Nigeria has over 823 kilometres of coastline and we have always been saying that the idea of building deep seaports will bring more economic value to the country.

 

Nigeria will eventually become a maritime hub in Africa or the West African sub-region,” he said. Koko also said that construction would kick off within the year and run concurrently with the construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line which also extends to the Bonny Deep Seaport.

 

Amaechi made the visit in the company of the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, and experts from the Ministry of Transportation, the NPA and the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC).

 

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