PCC highlights environmental issues confronting Badagry, Lekki deep seaports

•Says issues can be resolved

FOLLOWING the re-awarding of the consultancy job for the 25-Year Port Development Master Plan by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to guide it on the viability of two deep seaports within the Western zone of the country, the Badagry and Lekki deep seaports, the Ports Consultative Council (PCC), an advocacy group within the nation’s maritime sector, has highlighted possible environmental hazards that might occur in the advent of two deep seaport projects being sited in close proximity to each other, stating that all issues can also be resolved.

Speaking to the Nigerian Tribune exclusively, Chairman of the PCC, Chief Kunle Folarin, explained that environmental concerns like pollution, seawaves issues, dredging issues, hydrographic issues and others could be considered when siting two deep seaports in close proximity to each other. This is even as he said that all issues are not insurmountable.

According to Chief Folarin: “Within the Western zone of the country, we are having deep seaport projects like the Badagry and Lekki deep seaports. The first consideration should be the viability. The second consideration should be the environmental issues. Talking about environmental issues, we would be looking at if these projects will have negative impacts on our waterfronts. Will this project have a negative impact on pollution in our maritime domain? These issues are the reason for a master plan

“A master plan is to guide development and contain issues of concern. A master plan also directs the timeframe for a project and further makes a forecast for the future of that project. If we are looking at environmental issues to a project, we can mention six to eight environmental issues.

“We should not forget that a deep seaport can serve the expansion need of the nation in the future and solve the issue of congestion at our ports. Deep seaports have so many perspectives, but people only look at it from the perspectives of bigger vessels calling at our ports.”