By Blessing Enechojo Abu
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday launched the $1.5bn Lekki Deep Seaport located at Itoke village, Ibeju-Lekki, in Lagos State. The president also observed the first offloading from CMA CGM Mozart at the quay.
The project which is a joint venture between the federal government, through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos State Government, Tolarams Group (owners of the Lagos Free Zone), and China Harbour Engineering Company is the first fully automated and digitalized port in Nigeria.
The over $1.5bn is expected to generate over $361 billion into the Nigerian economy and about $201billion as revenue to Federal and state government agencies from taxes, royalties, and duties.
The governor of Lagos state, while addressing the president and other dignitaries present said;
“Mr. President, we are happy this is happening in your time. It all started in your time and it’s been completed in your time.
“We are excited that the size of the vessels that will berth at the port would be four times the size of vessels that currently berth at Apapa and Tin Can Island Port.”
“We are excited that in your own time, something fresh has been birthed in this country and it is going to generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”
The Lekki Deep Seaport is expected to provide at least 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria who was also present stated, “This project is a joint venture between China, Nigeria, and Singapore, and is run by a French company. The model of ‘five parties from four countries’ is a way of taking advantage of the wisdom and strength of all parties.”
Adding that; “The government doesn’t need to worry about the existence of guarantees or debt risks. It also shows that the investment climate in Nigeria can be trusted. We have every reason to be confident in Nigeria’s future development.”
The Lekki Deep Seaport is Nigeria’s first deep seaport and is equipped with 13 quay cranes for a capacity of 2.5 million TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) on a 1.2-kilometer quay with a depth of 16 meters, it will operate vessels with a capacity of up to 15,000 TEUs, thereby making it one of the largest in West Africa.
Picture Source : Nigerian Tribune