Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation has given provisional approval to Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) to construct $2.9 billion Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC-1) in Delta State.
The project will be home to eight other projects including a deep seaport, a free trade zone, a crude oil refinery and gas complex and nature conservation park.
Our correspondent learnt that one of the benefits of the project is to promote massive collateral investments in commerce, industry, mining, power, housing, recreation and tourism, etc estimated at $50 billion.
Speaking at a maritime stakeholders forum in Lagos at the weekend, Chairman of MMCC, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja,(retd) said that the project is a maritime driven project that could generate over 40,000 employment opportunities and eliminate criminality such as piracy in the region.
Okoja also stated that the Escravos seaport project, which would be on 30,000 hectares of land in South West of Warri in Delta State, would decongest the Lagos ports and bring in more people into maritime industry, saying that all the industry in the world has something to do with maritime, as it carries 90 per cent of the world’s resources.
His words: “We have gotten a provisional approval from the Federal Government. They told us to lodge in $1 billion and to lodge in your money, you have to go through certain protocols before you bring out that money. We are to lodge in the money as capacity to funding not that we are going to give it the Federal Government.
“The provisional approval was given through the Ministry of Transportation and we were given a condition, to pay $1 billion, we will give you a license. It is like when you need a land, you register and you are ask to pay this amount and after paying it, you would be given the land.”