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FG Secures Financial Partner For $27.9Bn Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex



The Marine and Blue Economy initiative of the Federal Government, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, received a boost when EDIB International Limited of Hong Kong expressed its willingness to provide financing for the $27.29 billion Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC) project.

The development project, which is situated in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State’s Escravos (Gbaramatu Island/Omadino) will be carried out through a Joint Venture Partnership (JVP) with the Nigerian company Mercury Maritime Concession Company Limited (MMCC).

Chief Kwame Springer, Chairman of EDIB International Ltd., states in a letter dated January 15, 2024, that EDIB International Limited is requesting government security over the $27.29 billion it funded for the ESIC project through their consulting firm Blue Dot Wealth Limited, which is led by Mr. Alexander Takpi-Young, a Director of BDW.

In order to offer security and confirmation of the project to be financed by EDIB International Ltd., EDIB International Limited is seeking that the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and the Local Government give written confirmation of the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in the nation.

The fifty (50) year concession agreement to Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) the ESIC deep seaport project is the reason for the requested security. The Federal Government of Nigeria would see to it that the financier receives a profit on his $27.29 billion investment. In order for EDIB International Ltd. to provide finance to the ESIC project, the concession deal period must be extended to (99) years.

It is important to remember that the ESIC project agreement states that after the ninety-nine (99)-year concession period to be given to MMCC expires, ownership of the ESIC deep seaport sub-project will return to FGN.

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Rear Admiral Andrew Omaolo.S. Okoja (rtd) of MMCC informed the media that the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMT) reviewed the FMT Confirmation Letter from August 2023 and granted MMCC provisional approval in November 2020 for the development of the ESIC project. This approval is the reason behind EDIB International’s decision to finance the project.

The choice was also made in response to the Delta State Government’s (DTSG) May 2022 consent to lease 31,000 hectares of land in Escravos to MMCC for the duration of the ESIC project.

The ESIC project was started in 2019 with the goal of developing 31,000 hectares of project land in Delta State into various facilities including as an airport, nature conservation park, free trade zone/industrial park, gas complex, deep seaport, and independent power plant (IPP).

This breakthrough holds the potential to greatly increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the trade, commerce, and industry sectors in the seven (7) recipient States of Nigeria. The implementation of ESIC is expected to shift the economic landscape of these states from one dominated by rural areas with occasional urban development to one dominated by metropolitan areas with a global reach.

The foundation of the ESIC project, the ESIC Deep Seaport, will act as a gateway seaport with multimodal transportation connectivity to hinterland destinations in Nigeria and beyond via rail, road, and marine transportation; this will increase the cargo flow through the ESIC Deep Seaport, enabling it to efficiently serve the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja and more than seven (7) States of the Federation.

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As a gateway deep seaport, Okoja added, the ESIC deep seaport will be able to service all inland ports along the River Niger once the project, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) of Egypt, comes online.

“This canal/international marine highway project will open the canal to a depth of 10 meters, enabling it to take vessels up to 100,000 metric tons. It is a 600-kilometer ESIC seaport to Baro in Niger State.”

The Chairman of the MMCC further stated that the seven (7) direct beneficiary states of the ESIC project, in addition to Abuja (Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Imo, Anambra, Kogi, and Niger States), will be admitted as equity partners of the project and will therefore be entitled to utilize the project’s capacity due to their contiguous location in and along the road, rail, and marine transportation corridor.

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