The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the Buhari government has embarked on the development of the Nigerian River Ports it met on ground into Deep Sea Ports to enable the movement of bigger vessels into the ports for firm anchorage.
The Minister who was speaking on National Television on 60th Independence Anniversary of the nation, said that Ports such as Lekki,Apapa,Tin can,Onne,Port Harcourt,Warri and Calabar are river ports and it is now that deep seaports are being developed beginning with Lekki.
According to him, the draft of the Lekki Deep Sea Ports is about 15-17 metres deep enough to accommodate very big vessels.
He recalled that big vessels anchor in the ocean from where they are transported to the ports describing the process as bad.
Amaechi said he will be in Lagos before the end of October to acertain the level of progress on the work at the Lekki Deep Sea Port.
The Minister disclosed that President Buhari has also approved the construction of Bonny Deep Sea Ports which will start by next year and will be completed under three years while approval has also been given for the construction of a deep seaport in Warri.
He gave the costs of the Lekki Deep Sea Ports as about $1billion while the Bonny Deep Sea Ports will gulp $500million.
Amaechi explained that while government had to borrow to construct the railways, funding and construction of the Deep Sea Ports are under the Public Private Patnership(PPP) agreement.
He said while the Lekki Deep Sea Ports project is being handled by a China Harbour Engineering Company ( CHEC) , the Bonny Deep Sea Port will be handled by another Chinese company,CCECC,as part of their investments in Nigeria.
The Minister revealed that the terms and agreements are being looked at by the Attorney General of the country and his team while borrowing and construction of the projects are being saddled with the Ministry of Finance and that of Transportation respectively.
The Minister called for understanding of all Nigerians to the present government’s commitment to improve the country and expressed delight that he is born a Nigerian.