By Princewill Ekwujuru
Lekki Port, located within the Lagos Free Trade Zone (LFTZ),Â Â hasÂ received Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval from the Federal Ministry of Environment (MOE).
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is always carried out to ensure that there is reduced or total absence of environmental damage by the developmentalÂ initiative whileÂ benefits are sustained.
Management of theÂ Lekki Port announced the approval in a statement last week. It stated, â€œReceiving the approval demonstrates and confirms the effort and consideration that Lekki Port has continually undertaken to ensure that they comply with every condition given by the Federal Ministry of Environment with regards to construction of the port,â€
Project Director, Mr. Peter Banham said, â€œWe are delighted to receive this approval from the Federal Ministry of Environment, as this signifies our commitment not just to the construction but also to the rules stipulated by the government. We are aware of the possible harm of such a large scale project to the local way of life of the host communities and the environment, but we are committed to ensuring the lowest possible negative impact during and after construction, and when operations at the Port commence.â€
He promised that â€œThe Lekki Port will seek and receive all required approvals necessary before full construction commences. The Lekki Port when completed will be the deepest port in West Africa, consequently attracting investors from round the globe.â€
Kundan Sainani, spokesperson forÂ LFTZ, said, â€œWe are proud that the Lekki Port has received this approval, as this goes to show the enthusiasm of the management to start the project and complete within the proposed date. Also, it shows that the companies located within the zone were carefully selected to impact and improve on the Nigerian economy, while adhering to the rules and regulations of the nationâ€™s relevant regulatory bodies.â€
Earlier this year, the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio, commended the on_going work at the Lekki Port. He was greatly impressed during the tour and expressed confidence that when completed it will not only help relieve the congestion that impacts on the importation of goods but will generate employment opportunities for Nigerians.
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 new PortÂ is projected to be completed by the last quarter of 2012, will have a final draft of 16.5m and will be able to accommodate large container vessels with a capacity of about 8,500 TEUs. It will also handle general and bulk cargoes, liquid commodities and tankers of up to 160,000 dwt.
The LFTZ has high_tech facilities and will incorporate a â€˜live, work and playâ€™ concept, making it a world class industrial zone when completed. The zone will also include a petrochemical plant, a refinery, and an industrial park and is set to be a major hub for business in West Africa as a result of its strategic location.