Uyo — The much talked about Ibaka Deep Sea Port project in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, which the Federal Government had given approval is to cost about $2 billion if it is to achieve the 2015 dateline for its inauguration.
The project's Technical Partners, Paul Van Eulem, and Womter Van Nub, disclosed this thursday at the maiden workshop and seminar on the Ibaka Deep Sea Port Development organised by the Project Consultant/Transaction Adviser, Felak Concept Limited in Uyo.
Listing the critical success factors, strength, opportunity and weakness of the Ibaka Port, the partners added that the Federal Government and Akwa Ibom State Government have 20 per cent share each, while the private sector has 60 per cent in the project.
The workshop attracted international and local key players and stakeholders in the maritime industry including, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio, members of the state Executive Council, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and members of the Federal Government Project Development Steering Committee on the Ibaka Sea Port Development.
The minister represented by the Director, Policy Coordination of the Ministry, Dr. Iorwuese Viashima, tasked the project steering committee to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the target set for the completion of the project is attained.
He warned that acts of indolence or unnecessary bottleneck in the course of execution of the project would not be tolerated, complaining that the Nigerian maritime domain was yet to be fully harnessed for the optimal benefit of the economy.
The minister added that the Ibaka Deep Sea Port Project was in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's the Transformation Agenda, which is aimed at developing the maritime sector.
Equally, the minister regretted that the existing ports in the country designed to handle 60 million metric tonnes annual were now overstretched.
"Today the ports handle over 100 million tonnes annually and clearly cannot cope with the current demand of the sector. The development of additional (Green Field) sea ports is therefore imperative. In realisation of this fact, the Federal Government and Akwa Ibom State Government are partnering with the private sector to develop the Ibaka Deep Sea Port, through PPP arrangement
"The project is well thought out as it is part of the proposed Ibom Industrial City. The free trade zone status is likely to confer on the location the additional advantage of a preferred investment destination," Umar stressed.
The minister lauded Akpabio for his foresight, pro-activeness, and demonstrated commitment towards the realisation of the Ibaka Deep Sea Port within the life span of his administration.
He called on the organisers of the Workshop as Consultant/Transaction Adviser to the project to work closely with the project Steering and Development Committees for a hitch-free and timely implementation of the project.