In line with efforts to ensure the realisation of the Benin Port Project, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Edo State Government will facilitate the dredging of a river channel to connect the Port to the sea.
This is contained in the Request for Qualification document published to invite investors to commence the project which is to be delivered using a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain and Transfer (DBFOMT) model.
According to the document, “The Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), in collaboration with the Edo State Government (EDSG), are desirous of developing the Benin Port (on an area of approximately 20 hectares) under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement (“Benin Port Project” or the “Project”).
“The purpose of the Project is to enhance the national water transportation capacity and develop a multi-purpose port with capability to handle container and general cargo.”
It added: “The proposed port is a redevelopment of the Gelegele Port, one of Nigeria pre-colonial ports, used to trade between the Benin Kingdom and the world. The site is located along Benin River downstream the Osse River near the confluence and closer to the sea, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State, approximately 50 kilometres from Benin City.”
Listed as part of the Edo State Government and NPA’s responsibilities include the delivery of an encumbrance-free project site; dredging and maintenance of river channel; construction of access road and facilitation of all necessary approvals.
The Edo State Government is completing the dualization of Ekehuan Road in Benin City, which is the main access road for evacuation of cargos from the Port.
The government said the project has been certified by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) through the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) as eligible for a PPP, noting that the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will act as counterparts for the PPP.
Noting that the project is in line with Edo State Government’s strategic integrated infrastructure plan to promote infrastructure development, attract investment, create employment and stimulate economic growth, the government added that plans to develop in the future an Agro-Industrial Park (on an area of approximately 717 hectares) adjacent to the Benin Port which will have a positive impact on the port and which the private partner can leverage to create ancillary services and facilities.
The private port is to have land and marine infrastructure such as quays, yards, buildings, infrastructure services, marine bollards as well as container terminal operations and maintenance for a capacity of 300,000 TEUs per annum.
It is also to be equipped with cargo handling, stevedoring, warehousing and delivery capabilities among others.