By Steve Agbota
Following the successful delivery of the first set of Super Post Panamax State-of-the-art Ship to Shore (STS) Cranes and 10 Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) on the July 1, 2022 and the delivery of the second batch shipment critical to the commencement of operations comprising of two (2) STS Cranes with 115 packages of accessories and five RTGs with 270 packages of accessories on August 5, 2022, the Lekki Deep Seaport is set to be completed on schedule ahead commencement of operations before the end of the year 2022.
Speaking during his first official visit to the Lekki Deep Seaport during the weekend, the Minister of Transportation Mr. Muazu Jaji Sambo expressed delight at the pace and quality of work at the Port site.
Sambo lauded the Management of the Nigerian Ports Authority for the tremendous support provided to Lekki Port in meeting the project timelines.
He tasked Nigerian Railway Corporation, NPA and Lekki Port to take urgent steps towards ensuring the Deep Seaport is linked by rail.
In his remarks, Managing Director Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko said, “the very fact the letter of intent between Lekki Deep Seaport and it’s financial partners was signed in April 2019 and by 2022 we are close to operationalization; this project symbolizes the possibilities that tenacity of purpose can actualize”. He added that NPA remains unwavering in providing every support and facilitation necessary to ensure that the timelines for take off are met.”
The Managing Director Lekki Deep Seaport Mr. Du Ruogang had while making a presentation to the Minister and his entourage disclosed that the construction works for phase 1 is nearing completion and is currently at about 96 per cent complete.
He said the Lekki Port team together with the Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) are working hard to ensure that construction is completed in September 2022 and thereafter port operations will start before the end of this year 2022.
Highlighting the game-changing features, Ruogang stated that the port upon completion will have three (3) container berths, three (3) liquid berths and a storage yard with over 15,000 ground slots terminal designed to support a throughput of 2.7 million TEUs annually, a Dry Bulk Terminal with available quay length of about 300m amongst other distinctive attributes.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had in the first week of August secured through the Federal Ministry of Transportation, an expedited presidential approval for the gazette of Lekki Deep Seaport as a Customs Port and an Approved Wharf in line with the requirements of the law.
This development is another important step forward for the start of operations at the Port.
The Lekki Deep Seaport places Nigeria on the global list of nations with Deep Seaports and positions the country to maximize the comparative advantages that its maritime endowments and littoral assets confer.