The Edo State Government in south=western Nigeria has signed an agreement with a Chinese firm, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the building of a port on the Benin River.The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and the Vice President of CHEC, Li Yi signed the agreement for the two parties in a ceremony held at the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing, China on Monday.
Speaking after signing the agreement, Obaseki said that the agreement was to build a port on the Benin River; dredge the river, which is a channel of about 40km and construct a link road to join the Benin bye-pass.
Local media reports on Tuesday quoted the governor as saying that the new port would link the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos and help decongest the Lagos ports.
“The company we are working with is the largest investor in the Lekki deep seaport. So the Benin River port is going to be a sister port to the Lekki deep seaport. We expect that up to 30 percent cargo going to the Lekki Deep Seaport would be meant for Benin Port,” he said.
According to him, the construction of the Benin port will also provide opportunities to export agricultural and manufactured products being produced in the in Edo State.
He disclosed that the state was investing massively on agriculture, particularly in areas like oil palm, rubber cassava, fruits and all range of agricultural produce, which would be processed and exported outside the country.