Nigeria May Lose $27.29 Billion Over ESIC Project – Admiral Okoja


A retired Rear Admiral, Andrew Okoja, has warned that Nigeria stands to lose $27.29 billion in foreign investment for the Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC) project in Delta State.

Okoja, who is also the chairman of the Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC), said this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos

He stated that the country was on the verge of missing this significant funding due to prolonged delays by the federal and Delta State governments in granting final approval for the project’s commencement.

“The delay in providing the necessary approvals by both the federal and Delta State governments may result in Nigeria missing out on creating much-needed job opportunities and boosting the nation’s economy,” Okoja said.

Okoja emphasised that the investors are prepared to commit funds for the project’s start.

He noted that the ESIC project promises to significantly open up Delta State and seven other states, including the FCT, Abuja, to international investment in trade, commerce, and industry.

“ESIC will transform the economy of Delta State and other beneficiary states from a predominantly rural economy to one driven by metropolitan development of international standards.

“This project is modelled after the Lekki Deep Seaport/Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and aims to address the perennial port congestion problems in Nigeria,” he added.

Okoja further explained that the ESIC project is a non-solicited Public-Private Partnership (PPP) regulated by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).

According to him, it involves a 50-year renewable concession lease to Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) the ESIC deep seaport and Free Trade Zone project.

He noted that EDIB International of Hong Kong had expressed its willingness to invest $27.29 billion in developing the ESIC project earlier in the year.

The project is complementary to the ongoing Lagos – Calabar coastal road initiative in the country. (NAN)