The Federal Government’s plan to upgrade the twin Lagos Ports of Apapa and Tin Can Island to world-class standards would cost about N500billion.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Ms Gbemisola Saraki, who dropped the hint at the weekend after a tour of maritime parastatals under her ministry, including the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Authority (NIMASA), said the money would be expended on the reconstruction, upgrading and purchase of modern equipment that would turn the two Lagos ports to the status of smart ports.
Speaking at a parley with reporters in Lagos, Saraki said, the government has got various options on how best to fix the two Lagos ports, execute the multibillion naira project and as well disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) which has grown from $195 million to $350 million .
The plan to inject about N500billion into the ports, it was gathered, followed the decision of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to reconstruct the two ports and upscale them to world-class ports
Feelers from the ministry suggest that the Minister is c studying the project, which may delay an early recommendation of options to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the award of the contracts.
According to sources, the Minister has embarked on a study of the project that covers designs, contractors and funding of the project.
“The reconstruction is going to be holistic in terms of designs, funding and the contractor, that is why it may take few more weeks before the Minister can take the contract paper available to the Federal Executive Council (FEC), for approval.
“The approval for the award of the contract and release of the funds are expected to make the country the hub of maritime activities in the region
Of the huge fund needed to upgrade the two ports to international standard, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the World Bank and the terminal operators have shown interest to inject enough funds into the project.
The Nation online