It is generally believed that the only antidote to the perennial tragic gridlock in Apapa port is to open up other ports across the country.

Akwa Ibom state seems positioned to take advantage of the situation as its $2.5 billion Ibom Deep Seaport, a public-private partnership (PPP) project is expected to begin operations in April 2019.

Speaking at the High-Level Stakeholders Retreat on Public-Private Partnership (PPP), Imeh Okon, the senior special assistant to the president on infrastructure, said the project would change the landscape of infrastructure in Nigeria.

“It will have solutions to traffic congestion in Lagos port because those goods that normally go to Lagos will come here,” she said on Friday.

“I can assure you before April, the contract for Ibom Deep Seaport will be signed and the approved consortium will start immediately.”

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She said that the country has spent 2.7 trillion naira on infrastructure development in the last three years, adding that 100 billion naira alone had been injected into rail projects.

“What we have done as a government is to go back to the 25-year master plan on the rail sector. All that you are seeing right now is in terms of rail infrastructure as a result of the master plan that was on ground.

“The challenge we have seen is revenue; because we are largely dependent on oil to generate revenue and the price of oil has affected government spending.

“So, we are going to partner with the private sector to develop most of our priority infrastructure projects.”

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