By Godwin Oritse
FEDERAL Government and the promoters of the Lekki Deep Seaport, yesterday, projected that the port in Lagos is capable of generating $158 billion through direct and induced business when the port becomes operational.
Speaking to newsmen during a tour of the port, Minister of Information and Communication, Mr. Lai Mohammed, said the port is also ready to reclaim its lost cargo to the ports of neigbhouring countries as the port will become the most cost efficient port in the sub-region.
According to him, the investment is huge and includes $1.53 billion dollars on fixed assets and $800 million dollars on construction, adding 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.
“In addition, it will create 169,972 jobs and bring revenues totaling $201 billion dollars to the state and federal governments through taxes, royalties and duties.
“The direct and induced business revenue impact is estimated at $158 billion dollars, in addition to a qualitative impact on the manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector.
“Beyond that, 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 transshipment. With this port, Nigeria will become a transshipment hub and the revenue we are currently losing to our neighbouring countries will come here.
“As you know, this project is being done in phases. Phase 1 has reached 89 percent and will be completed in September this year” he added.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime, who also spoke, expressed fear of a repeat of the problem currently witnessed along the access roads to the seaport in Apapa. “I am worried about how cargoes will be evacuated when the seaport eventually comes mainstream” he said.
On his part, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-koko, assured stakeholders of the preparedness of government to carry out its responsibilities when operations at the port commenced
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