NIMASA: Hopes Brightens For The Implementation Of The $2.6 billion Badagry Deep Seaport Project In Lagos State

By Stephen Ubanna

When the $2.6 billion Badagry deep seaport project  was conceived by the Federal government through the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, the Lagos state government and a Consortium of four firms, comprising of  APM Terminals, Orlean Invest, Oando, Terminal Investment Limited, TIL, and Macquarie, about four years ago, not many people  expected it to see the light of the day because of the continuous shifting of the goal post for the foundation laying.

Jamoh, NIMASA dg, Being Presented A Plague At Akran Of Badagry Palace

The people of the ancient Kingdom of Badagry  may have looked forward  for the take off the project because of the anticipated development  it would bring to the Community and the thousands of jobs that would  be created .  Bashir  Jamoh, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency   may have taken advantage of his visit to De-Wheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1, the Akran of Badagry, during the New Year, to keep hopes alive about the multi-billion dollar project.

  He had said that the visit  was ‘’to honour  the Badary traditional ruler and the people of the Kingdom  for allocating land to the Maritime Regulatory agency to establish a presence in the Community, before the take-off of the deep  seaport  project, which  foundation is expected  to be laid  this Janaury, 2021.

 The NIMASA boss  visit to the Akran of Badagry’s palace and letting  out the cat out of the bag about the planned  foundation laying of the   four-year old  Badagry deep seaport may have filtered out to the Community as it dominated the people’s discussions during the New Year.     

This is because they had looked forward to the implementation of the project  during  the Administration of  the former  governor Akinwumi Ambode ,  because of the promises that were made but     were disappointed.  Note that Ambode,  was so fascinated about the project that he had said that  its implementation would mark a turning point in the development of Lagos state. Babajide Sanwo-OLu, the incumbent governor of the state may have continued from where Abode had stopped towards the execution of the project.

 This is evident going by his Statement in 2019 that his administration  ‘’remained committed  to  the actualization  of the Badagry deep sea project’’. Given the importance attached to the project , he had said that his  government  ‘’ will do  everything humanly possible  to let the project start’’. It is not surprising why he is very happy   that the  NIMASA Director General  has resuscitated the project  to make it a reality .

Jamoh: DG,NIMASA

    At the Badagry Paramount Ruler Palace, Jamoh , the NIMASA, boss had said that  with the over 70% of the cargo bound  for the West and Central African sub-region  are destined  for Nigeria, which is strategically  located  at a significant point of the Atlantic ocean , with about  853  Kilometers coastline, it makes the Badagry deep seaport a must to be  implemented project.

 He disclosed that   the vantage position  gives  the country  gives it a geographic advantage ‘’ to become  the maritime hub of the West and Central African sub-region  which  places it at  it at a huge Commercial advantage with the development of the Badagry deep seaport’’.  The project, according Philip Kaynet, a Deputy Director, and NIMASA, Head of Corporate Communications   had been’ planned to be  Africa’s  biggest and most advanced deep seaport when it becomes operational’’, which the agency Director General had alluded to the fact that ‘’it was due to the strategic importance of  Badagry in the West African Sub-region’’.

Going by theCalculations of the promoters of  the multi-billion dollars  Badagry deep seaport, it is expected  to have an annual  throughput capacity of  1.8 million,  Twenty –foot  Equivalent  Units, TEUs. Maritime analysts believe that the completion of the projet  will ease the pressure  on the existing Lagos port of Apapa which currently  handles  close to 85% of the country’s oil throughput.

The noted that it will also go a long way to alleviate  the  problem of country’s  ports, which are at the verge  of exceeding  their cargo handling  capacities  as well as address  the annual Container traffic  which is expected  to grow to 10 million TEUs by 2030.  

To ensure the realisation of the Project, the NIMASA, Director General  was said to have promised to work with the Ankram of Badagry  and the people of the Kingdom   Informed sources told The Value News  that the  deep seaport which   is located  in the  Gberefun  area of Badagry, along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway,   is about  55 Km west of the Apapa and Tincan Island port Complexes.   The project, The Magazine was informed  will be implemented  in four phases ,with the overall project  cost estimated  to range between $2 billion and $3 billion.

The Badagry deep seaport, the source confirmed  is proposed  ‘’to be  about  4KMs of quay while  620 hectares  would be dedicated port facilities only. Given an insider information on the project, the NIMASA Director General disclosed that it will also include  facilities  for handling Containers, dry and liquid bulks cargoes. This in addition to   a roll-on – roll-off   and general cargo facilities as well as  oil and gas  operations support facilities.  There are indications that  the Badagry deep seaport  would  also have another 480 hectares  dedicated for Industrial  and Logistics Park Zone.

Hajia Usman: MD, NPA

Prior to Jamoh’s visit to the Ankram of Badagry where he opened up on the multi-million dollars Badagry deep seaport project,  Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of NPA, had said that  the    promoters   have finally made a payment of $500,000  into an escrow account  to show  their Commitment  towards the project. The project, according to her is being  developed  through  public –private sector partnership , PPP and overseen by the Federal government , Federal ministries of Transportation,  Trade, Investment and Industries and the Lagos  state government .

An elated Hajia Usman had said that   that the promoters of the multi-billion dollars Badagry  deep seaport project the payment to the escrow account about a month ago, noting that the Authority  has perfected arrangement  on the final  business  case  of the port project.

The NPA  Chief Executive Officer , CEO, may have given an insight on  why the project was delayed this long when she revealed  that  the transaction Adviser  ‘’put in all government  service into  the outline Business Case  as the service that would now  be provided by  the port Concessionaire, meaning that the towage services, and all manner of marine services that are originally the responsibility of  the government through the NPA are now handed over to the proponents  as part s  of what they should  do in managing  the deep seaports.

NPA, may not have found this funny going by the Statement of Hajia Usman, the Managing Director, that the planned project was ‘’wrongfully drafted’’ as the promoters  wanted to take  over some responsibilities of the Authority  like towage and marine services. The project may have dragged on as the Authority wanted the areas of conflict to be resolved before take off.This may have informed why the parties had to go  back to the negotiation table for talks to review the project  document. The aggrieved promoters of the project were said to have dragged the government to  Court  over the cancellation of the   $2.6 billion Contract.

Perhaps, the resolution of the gray areas in the agreement paper may have informed while the promoters had made a deposit of $500,000 into an escrow account for the project and the planned foundation laying this month of January  which Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director talked about during a visit to the Akran of Badagry.    

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