Ministers, deputy gov, others for UMA AGM

…Lists manufacturing, trade sectors as major beneficiaries

By Dirisu Yakubu, LAGOS

The federal government of Nigeria and the Lagos state government will earn total revenue of over $201 billion in 45 years when the Lekki Deep Sea Port becomes fully operational, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said.

The Minister stated this in Lagos when he undertook a tour of the $1.53bn mega projects on Wednesday.

Accompanied by heads of parastatals under the Ministry of Transportation, Alhaji Mohammed expressed joy at the quality of work done, assuring that the port would become operational in the last quarter of 2022.

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According to him, when fully operational, the deep seaport, “will create 169,972 jobs and bring revenues totalling 201 billion dollars to state and federal governments through taxes, royalties and duties. The direct and induced business revenue impact is estimated at $158bn in addition to a qualitative impact on the manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector

Describing the project as a game-changer, the Minister added that the port boasts of

$800m on construction alone, stressing that  “the aggregate impact has been put at 361 billion dollars in 45 years, which will be over 200 times the cost of building it.”

Speaking on the gains that await the nation, the Minister noted: “When it begins operation in the last quarter of this year, it will make it possible for Nigeria to regain the maritime business that was lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. It is also a big boost to Nigeria in its quest to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA.

“A major advantage we have to leverage is transhipment. With this port, Nigeria will become a transhipment hub and the revenue we are currently losing to our neighbouring countries will come here. That’s big! “

Phase one of the project, according to Lai Mohammed has reached an 89 per cent completion rate, assuring that it will hit the 100 per cent mark in September this year.

He further spoke on the various aspects of the project this way: “The facilities here are first class. We have 7 ships to shore cranes and 21 RTG cranes. No port in Nigeria currency has this. The excellent equipment is why this port can do 18,000 teu, which is more than four times the number that can currently be handled by our other ports.

“The project is self-sufficient in required electricity. It is now ready to generate up to 10 Mega Watts and the total capacity is 16 megawatts.”

That said, the Minister tasked newsmen to report the good things happening in Nigeria rather than negativities that portray the country in a bad light.

“I want to appeal to our colleagues in the media to play up these developmental efforts instead of concentrating energy on negativity.

“Let the world know that Nigeria is not all about kidnapping, terrorism and banditry. It is also about massive developments that are unprecedented,” he added.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port covers a land area of 90 hectares, which makes it the largest in the West African sub-region.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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