The federal government of Nigeria has disclosed that the construction of the proposed Bonny Deep Seaport in Bonny or rather Ibani, an island town and a Local Government Area in Rivers State in southern Nigeria, on the Bight of Bonny, will begin before the end of 2021.
This was particularly revealed by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi in a press release, on which it was mentioned that the project would be carried out concurrently with the construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line that extends to the said seaport.
Selecting the project site
According to Ameachi the Western part of the Bonny island especially in Finima, is the most feasible site because it meets the requirements needed for work to be carried out smoothly, including cost-effectiveness and ease in paying compensations.
“While the South-East part of Bonny Island was also viable, the most feasible area tuned out to be the West in Finima, as it would require less dredging. The experts have said that it will take only 500 meters of dredging at this point to get to 17 meters draught which is our target for the depth of the seaport,” explained the minister.
The Minister also said that the area will ensure that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipes are not tampered with or moved for the rail lines extending to the seaport to be laid. “It will be easier to pay compensations here and take the rail through this area instead of running it through the other end where there are pipes.
Expectations for the project
The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Koko, confirmed that the Bonny Deep Seaport when completed it is expected to have a capacity of handling about 500,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit containers per year.
It will reportedly make the country a maritime hub in the West African sub-region and the African continent at large.