BY YUSUF BABALOLA |
Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) has secured a provisional approval from the federal government through the ministry of transportation to construct $2.9 billion Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC-1) in Delta State.
The project is expected to be home to eight other projects, including a deep seaport, a free trade zone, a crude oil refinery and gas complex and nature conservation park.
It was learnt that one of the benefits of the project is to promote massive collateral investments in commerce, industry, mining, power, housing, recreation and tourism, etc estimated at $50 billion.
Speaking at a maritime stakeholders forum in Lagos, chairman of MMCC, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja, said the project, which is maritime driven project, would generate about 40,000 employment and eliminate criminalities such as piracy in the region.
He said the Escravos seaport project, which would be on 30,000 hectares of land in South West of Warri in Delta State, would decongest the Lagos ports and bring in more people into maritime industry, saying, all the industry in the world has something to do with maritime, as it carries 90 per cent of the world’s resources.
However, he said, the project will be ready in five years, adding that, it would boost economic and national development of Nigeria, particularly, Delta State.
Also speaking at the event, research and development manager, Engr. Stephen Kema Okoja, said Escravos seaport is conceptualised as a modern deep seaport that would handle container Ro-Ro vessels, specialised cargo and general cargo.
He said: “the seaport is designed to primarily serve ESIC-1 and also support Nigeria’s regular international seaborne trade, thus accentuating the contribution of Delta ports to Nigeria’s economic development as well as boosting contributions of Delta State seaports Nigeria’s International seaborne trade from its present to three per cent share.”
Speaking on the specific benefits of ESIC-1, consultant, Prof. Charles Asenime, said the central location of ESIC-1 grants Delta State direct multimodal transport accessibility to 70 per cent of Nigerian land mass, 4 geo-political zones, including Abuja and the littoral nations of the world.