…Decries community’s exclusion from revenue sharing formula
The proposed Deep Seaport at Badagry by AP Moller Terminal (APMT), the core investor has been greeted with mixed feelings by the indigenes and owners of the community where the proposed project is to be sited.
The misgivings is borne out of the antecedents of the terminal operators in other places where they are presently operating.
AP Miller, though an international company is always saddle with controversies bordering on operational inefficiency and multiple charges.
The High Chief Menu Toyon II, the Mobee of Badagry who spoke with a group of journalists in his palace recently maintained that even though the proposed APMT Deep seaport was commendable, measure should be put in place to avoid environmental degradation as well as to curtail likely unrest by involving all the stakeholders in decision making to avoid what now obtains in Niger Delta.
Recall that APMT has been in the news over the years for poor operational modalities, high handedness, lack of modern handling equipment and multiple charges in the Apapa port where it operates in Nigeria.
Ten years after commencing operation in the Premier port of Apapa, stakeholders are still lamenting poor working conditions meted out to shippers and their agents.
In light of these and the fear of importing health hazards into the ancient town of Badagry, Chief Mobee said, “I am delighted but there is no good thing without the other side. Yes, maritime or whatever is coming to Badagry in terms of deep sea port but at the same time, Badagry is going to face a lot of hazards no doubt about that.
“Yes everybody was jubilating that there is going to be deep seaport; but at the end of the day, Badagry where you came today and saw everywhere peaceful, fine, when the time comes, there will be influx of people of questionable characters. It happens everywhere, all what we are praying for is that we don’t want to experience what is happening in the Niger Delta in Badagry because maritime brings a lot of goodies and bad,” he stated.
Expressing fear over possible dilapidation of the infrastructure in the corridor, Menu Toyon II said the influx of people may bastardise the facilities especially as no Environmental Impact Assessment Report was carried out.
In his words, “Number one, when the port starts, our roads are going to be bastardised, there will be environmental degradation to Badagry which is very bad. I would have suggested and we have written to the Lagos state government that we prefer luxury cruise in Badagry where we have very beautiful ships that can be taking tourists here and there ; well the deep seaport is good but there is bad implication there.”
Speaking further, the first class chief said that stakeholders in the community where the port was proposed were not carried along.
“On the sharing formular for the proceeds from the proposed port which is 20% for the state government, 20% for the federal government and 60% for APMT, where is the place of the stakeholders?” he queried.
Continuing he said, “Now, it is going to bring influx of people, it is going to provide employment opportunities for our children even the children yet unborn but all the same, the stakeholders must be carried along, this is what I am emphasising on, we should be carried along, that is my submission.
“Now before starting anything, there must be peace accord, amiable settlement between the stakeholders and APM Terminal. We welcome the idea in a very good direction but at the same time, we are in fear that what happened in Niger Delta does not to happen in Badagry,” he insisted.
The proposed Badagry deep seaport was proposed by APMT in 2014 to boost its activities and expand its operations in Nigeria. But it seems the company is no longer interested in the project as according to a source from the Federal Ministry of Transportation; APMT has not come forth for the project after the initial hype in the media.
Also the managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman said that all new ports projects have been suspended pending the review of the NPA 25 years ports development plan.
The NPA boss said this during this years world maritime day celebration in Lagos recently.
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