GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has expressed optimism that the $2.6bn Badagry Deep Sea Port project would be a major turning point in bringing about global growth to Nigerian waters and, by extension, the nation’s economy.
The governor, who spoke shortly after another successful meeting with the executive management of APM Terminals (Maersk Group), represented by Mr Morten Engelstoft, CEO designate of APM Terminals in Copenhagen, Denmark, on the advancement of the Badagry Deep Sea Port, said the project would also complement the emergence of Lagos as the fifth largest economy in Africa.
The meeting, according to a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Habib Aruna, on Friday, held alongside chairman, APM Terminal, Apapa, Chief Ernest Shonekan, was the culmination of a process which started in 2012 and which had been taken on with renewed vigour by the Ambode administration, resulting in this significant foreign investment estimated at over US $2.6billion into Lagos.
“This port and free zone, situated on over 1000 hectares, is expected to be the largest deep sea port in Africa upon its completion. The project will include a container terminal, oil and gas services and a liquid bulk terminal, with general cargo and Ro-Ro facilities”, the governor said.
The governor, while lauding the investors for staying on course with the project expected to generate 500,000 direct and indirect jobs upon completion, pledged his government’s commitment to ensuring the interests of the host communities alongside a sustainable regeneration and urban renewal of the area.
He said to the project would be a major infrastructural development to the Badagry axis of Lagos State and also confirmed that talks were well advanced to reach financial close on Lot 3 of the Mile 2 to Seme 10-lane highway expansion, saying that it would in no small way complement the ongoing Badagry Deep Sea Port Project.
The governor, who said the Lot 3 would run from Okokomaiko-Badagry-Seme, affirmed the commitment of his administration to providing an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
On his part, Morten Engelstoft reiterated the group’s commitment to the deep sea port project and assured the governor that all business streams of the Maersk Group would be involved in ensuring the success of the project.