At such good positioning to serve the South-South, South-East and Middle Belt up to Abuja, as well as the Gulf of Guinea, the Ibom Deep Seaport at Ibaka stands taller than others as investors’ taste, Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State has said.
Addressing a pre-bid conference in Uyo, featuring three project developers – Consortium of Bollore and Power China, China Road Breach Corporation (CRBC), and China Harbour Engineering Company of Nigeria, Udom lamented the pains of operating a single seaport in Nigeria, stating that a country of over 170 million people cannot rely on one seaport.
He noted: “People try to compare our port with others. This is a natural draught; you do not need to worry about dredging or any other thing,” adding that it would be a digital port, and built with at least four exits to ease traffic within and outside the facility, and developed in compliance with international best standards.
According to him, the latest technology will be deployed to ensure that goods are cleared very fast to enable investors realise their return on investment, adding that the state government had already met with host-communities and fulfilled all their obligations.
On her part, the Chairman of Ibom Deep Seaport and Industrial City Technical Committee, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, said that they had just completed a pre-bid conference for the port development with the three qualified bidders and other stakeholders.
She explained that the conference with the bidders was a mandatory requirement in the procurement process, adding that the bidders have been availed more information about the project to enable them submit robust proposals or evaluation before the next stage of the project.
“We have attained another milestone in the project development of Ibom Deep Seaport,” she said. “At the end of the evaluation, the preferred bidder will be announced and thereafter get to negotiation with sponsors on the concession and shareholder agreement.”
Also, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Akan Okon, assured that before the year ends, the entire transaction would have been completed since everyone involved in the project was showing great commitment.
Likewise, the Chairman, Project Development Steering Committee and Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sani Umar Galadanchi, said the Minister of Transportation was passionate about the project and promised to continue to work with the State Technical Committee and other stakeholders to achieve it.