By Princewill Ekwujuru
The management ofÂ Lagos Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) andÂ Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise said the forthcoming Nigeria Maritime Ports and Terminal (NIMPORT) Expo and Conference will address energy cost, logisticÂ among other issues.
NIMPORT is Nigeriaâ€™s International Water transport sector event. The management of LFTZ said this yearâ€™s edition is to challenge the maritime sector towards expansion of frontiers of international trade. The management said the event will address issues of energy cost, logistics and shipping, ports infrastructure development, human capital optimization, customs reform, inland terminal and waterways development, security and safety, project funding, economic integration and diversification, training and professionalism.
The event willÂ also host African summit for ports, terminals and harbors development creating an unprecedented gathering for business networking and showcasing products and services. It has been endorsed by the West Africa and Central Africa Port Management Association and the Ministry of Transportation in Nigeria.
Mr. Peter Banham, Project Director, Lekki port had said, â€œWe are particularly happy this exhibition and conference is being organized at a time like this.
This will give us the opportunity to showcase the concept of the Port at Lekki. Also, through our paper presentation, we will educate individuals in the industry as to the benefits and reasons for establishing a new port as we believe very strongly that it will help relieve congestion that impacts upon the importation of goods into the country. It is not surprising that Lagos is the hub of business transactions in Nigeria, and handling over 70 per cent of all water borne traffic in West Africa.â€
The work of the management of the deep sea port has recently been commended by the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, and the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa. They were both impressed with the on-going work at the Lagos Free Trade Zone and are confident that its establishment will have a positive impact on the economy of the country.
The new Port at Lekki which is expected to be completed by the last Quarter of 2012 has been designed to have a final draft of 16.5m and accordingly will be able to accommodate large container vessels with a capacity of about 8,500 TEUs and in addition would be able to handle general and bulk cargoes, liquid commodities and tankers up to 160,000 dwt.
The Lekki Port is situated within the Lagos Free Trade Zone, a privately owned venture located approximately 60km east of the city of Lagos. The zone when fully completed will incorporate a â€˜live, work and playâ€™ concept with a state-of the art infrastructure, petrochemical plant, a refinery, industrial park and world class facilities.
Commenting on the event, the Managing Director, Lagos Free Trade Zone said, â€œOur participation in an exhibition like this will benefit us immensely and help us share our dream for the Port@Lekki with other stakeholders in the industry. We believe that the port will not only help importers and exporters but will also create employment opportunities for Nigerians. Also, being located within the Lagos Free Trade Zone, it will offer business opportunities to investors within the zone.â€
The LFTZ facilities are high-tech and all encompassing making it a world class industrial zone. Located in Lekki, and near the ocean front, LFTZ is set to be a major hub for business in West Africa.