…To key into NIMASA maritime security architecture
By Godwin Oritse
THE Bayelsa State Government and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, yesterday, said that they have commenced preparation for the construction of N116trillion (about $3billion) deep seaport in the Agge area of the state.
Disclosing this in Lagos during a visit to NIMASA headquarters, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, said that the state was currently collaborating with relevant federal agencies to see the port project to fruition.
He disclosed that some interested investors were already in talks with the government, adding that he plans to escalate the discussions with a view to ensuring that more investors are brought on board.
The governor also said that discussions were ongoing until the Coronavirus pandemic necessitated a lockdown, adding that it hopes to resume talks with interested investors over the proposed port.
He explained that funding will not come from the purse of the government adding that it was going to be a Private Public Partnership, PPP.
He said, “Bayelsa State is already in discussion with some private investors as we are also working with other relevant federal agencies such as NIMASA, and the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.
“So, the entire funding will not come from the coffers of the Bayelsa State Government, it is going to be Private Public Partnership. We already have people that have indicated interest.
“As I said earlier, the wealth of this country is the maritime domain and the earlier we identify that and know that the institution that the Federal Government has in ensuring that the wealth of the nation is NIMASA, the better.
“And if NIMASA plays its role, synergises with the coastal states like Bayelsa, I am that Nigeria will have an alternative source of revenue other than oil and gas.”
Diri also said that the state was also interested in partnering with NIMASA in the area of maritime security so as to create some level of peace on the waterways within the state.
Earlier in his remarks, NIMASA’s Director-General, Dr Bashir Jamoh said that the project can only work through a PPP proposal, adding that the Government of Bayelsa State must also have some level of equity participation.
Jamoh also said the source of the N3billion will come from different sources, including the state government.