FG, experts relish gains of Lekki Deep Sea Port

Chibuzo Ihegboro

The recently-commissioned Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos State is believed would give Federal Government impetus in its efforts to strengthen the country’s economy and will also help to provide jobs for its youthful population.

The excitement surrounding the Sea Port, described to be the ‘most modern and deepest seaport’ in West Africa,  experts said would offer critical support to the burgeoning commercial operations in Lagos State, across Nigeria and the entire West African region. The sea port is said to create over 190,000 jobs.

In addition to creating jobs, this project, which the Nigerian Ports Authority awarded to the Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) and which was commissioned in January, is expected to generate US$201 billion in taxes, royalties, and duties for state and federal agencies.

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According to experts, some of the other macro-economic impacts the sea port would have on the country included improvement of external trade competitiveness by improving port efficiency at the sea/land interface, cost-effective port operations and services, and improved turnaround time for cargo handling and clearance, which ensure lower costs of imports.

Other benefits is that the Lekki Port will boost trade volumes which would lead to an increase in our GDP. Also on the Manufacturing sector, the port would lead to reduction in delays in the supply of raw materials and equipment. It would also reduce importation costs/charges such as demurrage, and further create competitive export prices of manufactured goods.

Speaking at the commissioning which took place recently in Lagos, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Emmanuel Jimeh, described the project as a ‘dream come true’ for him.

Shippers Council is the agency that would monitor the efficiency and quality service of Lekki port.

Jimeh stressed that the port is a testament to what Nigeria can achieve if it has purposeful leaders at the helms of affairs.

According to him, “I remember in 2019 when we visited this project, back then it was at time they laid the foundation for most of the facilities.So, I am happy that more than five years after, we have all gathered to bear witness and testimony to the delivery of what has turned out to be a game changer in our maritime space.

“This story is important to me, because the joy of a public servant is to see that in your time you’re able to associate with developments that would lead to delivering the needs of the people.

“One of the biggest lessons to learn is that when we set our minds as a people to deliver on the needs of the country, all we need is a committed leadership. This is a lesson, generations coming behind should learn.”

The journey to building this ultra-modern Lekki Port started, in 2003, when the former President Olusegun Obasanjo approved the project and LPLEL became the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV).

SPVs are subsidiary company that is formed to undertake a specific business purpose or activity. They are commonly utilized in certain structured finance applications, such as asset securitization, joint ventures, property deals, or to isolate parent company assets, operations or risks.

Hence for the Lekki port, LPLEL is the joint venture enterprise owned by a group of investors led by the Lekki Port Investment Holdings Inc. comprised of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and Tolaram, the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Ports Authority.

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According to the Mohammed Bello-Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Lekki port is the beginning of transformation in the maritime sector. Mr Bello-Koko hinted that the NPA would be the regulator and would be responsible for providing maritime services, crafts and other logistics at the port.

He disclosed that the smooth operations and efficient services at the Lekki Deep sea Port is already attracting interests from neighbouring African countries.

“We have already purchased the necessary equipment that would ensure safe and secure berthing in this port. We’re already getting interest from a certain neighbouring country that is already talking about moving their cargos from Lekki to Dala ports in Kano and then to the African country,” he added.

Also, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Director-General, of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) applauded the government for its focus on ensuring the completion of the Lekki Deep Sea Port. According to Jamoh, the port comes at a time when the country is grappling with an ailing economy.

He said, “from time to time we keep saying that the maritime industry is one of the best sectors after oil and gas to pursue the development of Nigeria’s economy. Now we’ve witnessed the commissioning of one of the best ports in Africa here in Nigeria. And this Lekki Port is expected to inject over $ 360 billion and provide employment to over 190, 000 Nigerians.

“Also in Nigeria, we have encountered several problems with abandoned projects, but this is the first time we are seeing dedication, and political will, in the discharge of government projects. We all should be proud of this groundbreaking sea port built in Nigeria.”


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