By Godwin Oritse

With current dimension of 600 Meters of turning basin or circle, a draught of 16.5 meters and a capacity for 2.7million Twenty Equivalent Units, (TEUs) per annum, the Lekki Deep Seaport is set to change the face of port operation in the West and Central Africa. 

Besides, Lekki Port is also set to drive down cost of cargo handling and delivery,  while very large vessels with large number of containers will be are to berth and discharge the cargoes at this Green Field port. 

While container vessels currently coming to the nation’s ports cannot carry more than 2000 or at most 3000 containers, the game-chaging  Lekki Deep seaport can conveniently accommodate  vessels that can carry between 10,000 and 20,000 containers. The mega ships  can conveniently berth as the port has capacity to berth 4 to 5 of vessels of such sizes along, thereby reducing the cost of shipping. 

It is also noteworthy that the automation and top of the range IT that is being deployed to the port will not only enhance the quick clearance of cargoes, it will also reduce cost for shippers. 

The management of the port has also concluded plans to deploy barges for cargo evacuation; a development that will significantly increase its efficiency in terms of cost and operations.

Economic Growth of Local Businesses

With the strategic location of the Lekki Port, the three tiers of government stands to benefit from the operations of the port when it is finally completed and fully operational.

The Federal Government, through the Nigerian Ports Authority that owns 5 percent of the equity, will collect royalties dues, and other taxes. The Lagos State Government, which also has a stake of 20 percent, and the contigual local government is also set to gain from the Lekki Port investment through the collection of Wharf Land Fees.

The port, if well managed in terms of cost of cargo, has the potential to make Nigeria regain its lost hub status as it plans to attract lost transit cargoes back to Nigeria.

The Lekki port will also become are an important source of local employment, as it will increase the purchasing power of residents within and and around the port.

 The port, according to sources will also keep an accurate data of its operations thereby using these data to  determine what region shipping services are tilted to.

Speaking during a recent inspection tour of the port facilities,  Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said when completed, the port would make Nigeria regain the maritime business that it lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

According to the minister, it would also be a big boost for the country in its quest to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The minister also estimated that over $201 billion in taxes, royalties and duties would be generated for the government as well as create 169,972 jobs when the port commences operations in the fourth quarter of 2022.

He said, the aggregate economic impact of the port, put at $361 billion in 45 years, would be over 200 times the cost of building the port.

He added that the direct and induced business revenue impact of the port is estimated at $158 billion in addition to a qualitative impact on the manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector.

“No port in Nigeria currently has this. The excellent equipment is why this port can do 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu), which is more than four times the number that can currently be handled by our other ports,” he stated.

He said with regulatory agencies, which include, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Port Health Services (PHS), Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the federal government’s ease of doing business would be achieved in the port.

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