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Why Badagry Deep Seaport Project Has not Kicked off

By Yemi Olakitan

The Badagry Deep Sea Port is a proposed project that aims to create the largest and most advanced port in Africa, located in the Gberefun area of Badagry, Lagos state.

The project is expected to cost $2.5 billion and generate over $53 billion in revenue within the 45-year concession period.
The port will have various facilities, such as a container terminal, oil & gas services, a liquid bulk terminal, and a navy berthing facility.

However, the project has faced several delays and challenges since it was first announced in 2015. According to Mr John Rokosu, an entrepreneur and resident of the Badagry Local Government, some of the reasons for the slow progress are: a lack of a clear legal framework and regulatory guidance for the public-private partnership (PPP) model that the project is based on.

Rokosu opined that, the difficulty of securing financing and attracting investors for such a large-scale and complex project and the environmental and social impacts of the project on the local communities and ecosystems, the competition and rivalry from other existing or planned ports in Nigeria, the region are some of the reasons for the delayed kick off of the project.

According to reports gathered by Nature News, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had approved the concession of the Badagry Deep Sea Port in August 2022, after the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) issued the Full Business Case Certificate (FBC) in April 2022 and delivered it physically to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the Ehingbeti Summit held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

This was a major milestone for the project, as it gave the legal basis for the agreement between the concessionaire, Badagry Port Development Limited, and the Federal Government and relevant agencies. The project is now ready to proceed to the commercial close, which is the signing of the agreement, and then to the financial close, which is the finalization of the funding arrangements.

The project is expected to commence construction this year 2023 and be completed by 2028. The port will have a capacity to handle 3.9 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), 24 million metric tons of cargoes, and 1.4 million cars annually. The port will also create thousands of jobs and boost the economy of the surounding communities.

Stakeholders agree that the Badagry Deep Seaport Project is not just one project; it is a multi-level opportunity for progress for all the people of this state in view of the volume of trade and quantum of investment opportunities that would spring up in the area when the project commences, and when it is completed and operational. Very importantly, employment and capacity building for the teeming youth and women in the affected communities will be prioritised.

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, when fully operational, it will not only boost the fortunes of the people of Badagry, but, also transform the entire economy of our state and that of the entire West African sub-region,” he said.

According to him, when completed, the Badagry Deep Seaport will be the second in the state after the one in Lekki, that was inaugurated in 2022 under President Mohammadu Buhari.

He said that with these two deep seaports, the state would experience significant relief from the difficult challenges being experienced in the Apapa axis, due to the activities at the Tin-Can port, which had been overstretched beyond its installed capacity.

The Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lola Akande, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his commitment to the actualisation of the seaport project, which was conceived in 2012.

Ms Akande said the state government earnestly sought cooperation in making the state attractive to investors at all times, for the continued growth and development of the local economy.

Didi Ndiomu, the chief executive officer, Badagry Port Development Ltd., said that the project would be developed in four phases under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Mr Ndiomu said the seaport would be located in Gberefu area of Badagry, and covered an area of approximately 1,103 hectares.

He said that out of 1,103 hectares, 623 was dedicated for port activities, including an 18-meter draft and 4km quay, making it a port with the deepest draft and widest berths in Sub Sahara Africa.businessday logo

Babatunde Hunpe, a House of Representatives member, has given reasons for the delay in the commencement of the proposed $3billion Badagry Deep Seaport project in Lagos.

Hunpe, who represents Badagry Federal Constituency in the House, said this recently on the sideline of the presentation of relief materials donated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Lagos.

While noting that the project had been discussed on the floor of the House of Representatives, he pointed out that the preliminary processes required for the port project to take-off, was contributing to delay in commencing the project.

Hunpe assured the people of Badagry that the port project is on course, and must follow due processes before the project can be actualised.

“I met with the former Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), we had a long discussion and she disclosed the level that they were on the port project, which gave the assurance that the project was coming up. I have also seen some steps taken by the NPA and I was able to get this because I am a member of the committee on special duties and so, I have the privilege to know what they are doing,” he said.

According to him, the project has been on since 2016 and presently, it has been going on.

In 2020, the NPA disclosed that the promoters paid $500,000 as commitment deposit into an escrow account to signify their commitment towards the port project.

The NPA kicked against the initial Outline Business Case for the port, which has been reviewed to include the suggestions of the Ports Authority.

The proposed site is located 55km west of Apapa and the port of Lagos, along the 55km long Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is being upgraded from a four-lane to a ten-lane expressway.

The port is expected to have an annual throughput capacity of 1.8 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). The proposal for the project was announced in 2012. Feasibility studies have been completed and construction works are yet to start. The project will be implemented in four phases, with the overall project cost estimated to range between $2 billion and $3 billion.

Also, it is expected that the new port will primarily ease pressure on the existing ports of Lagos, Apapa and Tin-Can Ports, which handles approximately 85 percent of the country’s non-oil throughput.

In another chat with Chief Nathaniel Adebowale, the regent at Okoafo, an ancient town at Badagry Local Government, he said the Badagry Deep Sea Port will further alleviate the country’s ports, which are on the verge of exceeding their cargo handling capacities, and address the country’s annual container traffic, which is expected to grow to 10 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units by 2030.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had said recently, “the whole idea is to build strategic infrastructure for our citizens so that we can decongest Apapa and Tincan ports, which have stretched their capacities to limit of the installation. We need to begin to think forward.”

He said that the investors who put in their funding together for the Badagry Port have got approval, adding: “So, in two years or so, we might also have a brand new Deep Sea Port.”

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