Lekki Port to contribute $361bn to Nigeria’s Economy in 45 Years

Lekki Port to contribute $361bn to Nigeria’s Economy in 45 Years
By Kathy Kyari
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport which he flagged off on Monday would contribute significantly to the economy.

The President who was speaking at the flag off ceremony said, the Federal Government is optimistic that the facility would buoy the Nigerian economy by about $361 billion in the next 45 years.  

The port is expected to reduce the congestion in Apapa and Tin Can Island ports. It is believed that it would generate about 170,000 jobs for Nigerians.
In his speech, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, averred that the project has the biggest infrastructure in the whole of West Africa. While expressing joy that the execution of the project which took off under Buhari’s administration was completed during his tenure, he added that it would surely generate thousands of jobs in the country. 

“We are indeed excited that the project execution started during your regime and it is now completed during your tenure,” he stated 
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, said that it is a dream come true to the Authority  because Lekki Deep Sea Port will be the deepest and most modern port in Nigeria with a depth of about 16.5 meters as it will be able to bring in bigger vessels and more cargoes. 

He opined that this will bring  economics of scale with the belief that the cost of doing business in the country will be lower compared to other countries.
“It will also provide employment opportunities and it will be more efficient. It will also be a model for other upcoming deep sea ports in Nigeria. 

“The NPA will be the regulator and we will be responsible for provide marine services. We have already gone ahead to purchase the necessary equipment that will ensure safe and secured berthing of vessels in this port.  
“While sitting here we already have interest from a certain neighboring country that is already talking about moving their cargoes from Lekki to Kano then to the African country because they have seen the opportunity of smooth operations and the efficiency here,” Bello-Koko said.

In his own speech, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that "today, we have seen the emergence of one of the best ports in Africa."

According to Jamoh,  maritime industry is one of the key areas needed to pursue the development of Nigerian economy. 

Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime promised to strictly monitor the efficiency and ensure quality of services that will be delivered at the port. 

Chairman of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), Tang Qiaoliang, said: “Lekki Port is the first deep sea port in Nigeria, a major trade hub in West Africa. It will improve the Nigerian port industry, easing the burden of cargo shipment flow, creating employments, and ultimately promote international trade in the nation,”
He disclosed that the company saw the opportunity in Nigeria, and believe in its potential. “So we committed the adequate financial investments and essential technology, together with Nigerians in the construction and operation of the port,”

Chairman Tolaram, Mr. Mohan Vaswani, said: “This Port being completed and commissioned is an important milestone for Tolaram and Nigeria and we are proud of our humble efforts to develop a world-class port in Nigeria.  

“This significant milestone will definitely increase the economic well-being of Nigeria and its people and that is the most important thing,” he said.

Lekki Port is a multipurpose deep sea port at the heart of the Lagos Free Zone. Lekki Port is poised to be the most modern and deepest seaport in West Africa, offering critical support to burgeoning commercial operations in Lagos State, across Nigeria and the entire West African region. 

Phase 1 of the multipurpose Port covers an area of 50 hectares, with two container berths and a total capacity of 1.2 million TEUs annually.

Upon completion of the final phase, the port will have three container berths, one dry bulk berth and three liquid berths.

The approach channel is about 11km long and 16.5m deep. The main breakwater is 1.9km long and will accommodate a corridor for liquid transport to and from the liquid berths.
The three liquid berths will service ships up to 160,000 DWT. The turning circle, which will have a diameter of approximately 600m, will be sufficient to handle 18,000 TEU vessels. 

Tug boats will assist in the moving of the various vessels. Equipped with the latest super- post Panamax, ship-to-shore cranes and rubber-tyred-gantry cranes, the layout will ensure that the Port will be a modern, efficient facility.

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