Akwa Ibom to house Nigeria’s first ocean terminal

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Plans to float the first ever ocean terminal in the country are in the offing, with expectations that the facility would help investors in the shipping of oil and gas vessels, and enhance Nigeria’s status in the maritime world.

The project, being slated for Akwa Ibom State, is currently yearning for more local and international investors for it have a smooth sail.

Managing Director of Port Notel Limited, Victor Akpanika, in a statement, Monday, said the promoters have acquired 245 hectares of waterfront land for the project, and urged the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, to grant them a Certificate-of-Occupancy (C-of-O) for the land at Ntafre Community.

Akpanika said the project would do the coastal state good in the short and long run, as more Nigerians especially the indigenes of the state, would derive immense benefits from the project.

He maintained that the Port Notel Ocean Terminal facility was intended as a more cost effective logistic support platform for what he called the “ultra-deep offshore oil and gas industry” in the Gulf of Guinea.
He also pointed out that many foreign and local professionals, consulting firms, and service providers have been engaged to render various types of services to the project.

“So many Nigerians/Akwa Ibom families, the immediate host communities and businesses, who are directly or indirectly involved are anxiously waiting for the completion of the project. Also, the planning, preparation, and permits, and Akwa Ibom State Government endorsement and issuance of C-of-O for the project are being awaited. The project already acquired 245 hectares waterfront parcel of land near Ntafre community as entry point connecting the bridge to the offshore artificial island.

“The approval of the C-of-O for Port Notel Ocean Terminal is one of the final proof and assurance to the international community, the project foreign technical and financial development partners and investors that the state government actually supports, and is willing to collaborate with the private sector to jointly develop the Akwa Ibom State maritime sector.”

Citing some other states in Nigeria with more than one seaport, including Delta, Rivers, Lagos, and Bayelsa states, Akpanika argued that Akwa Ibom State, particularly the Ibeno and Eastern Obolo Local Government Areas deserved at least one major maritime infrastructure project.

Akpanika also disagreed with arguments in some quarters that the state does not need more than one seaport due to poor market demand within and outside the country.

He averred that the argument of insufficient market space demand was not convincing because Nigeria’s maritime domain is large enough to accommodate many players.

This is because it is considered the gateway to the West and Central Africa sub-regions with a population of about 180 million people, third largest economy in Africa with a rebased gross domestic product (GDP) of over $500 billion and 10th in oil production in the world.

Culled from The Guardian

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