By James Emejo
The planned establishment of the Ibom Deep Water Port (IDWP) has continued to gather steam as the federal government is prepared to advance to the procurement phase of project.
Bollore/Power China had emerged the preferred bidder for IDWP, which will be delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, following a transparent bidding process held earlier.
Conclusion of negotiations and due diligence are said to be ongoing with the preferred bidder.
However, Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Izuwah, said the project would become a major national and regional economic gateway that would provide additional container handling capacity for the country.
Speaking during the presentation of the Full Business Case Compliance Certificate for the project to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, he added the IDWP was also expected to handle petroleum products, crude oil, natural gas, vehicles and bulk trade in natural resources.
Essentially, the project involves the development of a Greenfield Deepsea Port and accompanying Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Akwa Ibom State in the South-South geopolitical zone of country.
The proposed Port and economic zone are part of the planned Ibom Industrial City initiative that will be established on a 14,400-hectare site donated by the state government free of charge.
Izuwah further appreciated the tremendous leadership that the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) had provided for the project as well as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Akwa-Ibom State for their efforts in getting the project to the present level of achievement.