Nigeria’s maritime sector might take on a completely different look from its present form in a few years from now, as new seaports spring up along its coastlines. Lagos, in particular, could see a doubling in the number of its ports. Two maritime projects, in Ibeju-Lekki and Badagry areas of the state, are expected to significantly boost the capacity of the industry in Nigeria.
On Wednesday, August 3, the Federal Government approved the construction of the Greenfield Port in Badagry, Lagos. The approval from the Federal Executive Council came two years after the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, disclosed the plan to site the port in the area. The Ministry of Transportation, however, says that the Federal Government will play no active role in the execution of the project.
Speaking at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, opined that the country needed the new port because the existing ports lack the means to compete favourably with the major ports in the world.
“Some of our competitors on the continent like Djibouti are building bigger ports, so if we don’t build this port, we risk becoming uncompetitive, and we risk a threat to our maritime hub status in the sense that we may become a transshipment port instead of a port of original destination”, the minister said.
The Greenfield port forms part of a wider project that also includes a Free Trade Zone. Companies which make up the project development consortium include Orlean Invest, APM Terminals, Oando, Terminal Invest Limited and Macquaire.