The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has reaffirmed government’s commitment to timely delivery of the road infrastructure around the Ibeju-Lekki axis to ensure seamless evacuation of cargo from the port.
Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance at the handover of the Nigeria Lekki Deep Seaport construction completion ceremony by the construction firm to its promoters, Tolaram Group, on Monday in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said that the project would provide 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in the next couple of months and years ahead.
Sanwo-Olu added that the project would boost the country’s revenue in form of taxes.
“The seaport will position Lagos, as the world maritime logistics hub, not only in West Africa but Central African region and will position Nigeria to attain full economic leadership potential under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
“We, therefore, reassure everyone that we will stop at nothing to put the roads into completion as fast as possible to avoid any gridlock.
“We are urging the host community to remove all shanties on the road as the road will be turned into a six-way highway,” he said
Sanwo-Olu also assured investors that the government would work with them to ensure ease of doing business.
Also, Mr Biodun Dabiri, the Chairman, Lekki Port Board of Directors, noted that the project was a poster child for how effective global cooperation and collaboration could bridge the infrastructural gap in Nigeria.
Dabiri appreciated the Government of China which enabled China Harbour Engineering Company, China Development Bank to invest in Lekki Port, and President Muhammadu Buhari for providing an enabling environment for the nvestment to flourish.
“We are pleased to celebrate the completion of construction of the port and the effective handover of the facilities by Lekki Port from the EPC Contractor, China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise, a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Company.
“It has been a long journey of many steps. Starting from the time when Tolaram led by Pa Mohan Aswani sought to develop a deep sea port for the benefit of the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), and indeed all of Lagos State and Nigeria.
“And to getting concession from the Nigerian Ports Authority for a unique private public partnership port; getting a loan facility from China Development Bank to the infusion of equity capital in the sum of $221 million,” he said.
He noted that the Lekki Deep Sea Port would contribute immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy when fully inaugurated.
“The port will create about 170,000 direct and indirect jobs, generating approximately $361 billion during the period of the concession, and generating over $201 billion in revenue for both Lagos State and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The draft of 16.5 metres, means it can accommodate larger vessels which will automatically make Nigeria the trans-shipment hub of the region,” he said.
Mr Wu Di, the Vice President of CHEC, while announcing the completion of the port revealed that the total contract value of the EPC for the project’s first phase was 581 million US dollars.
He added that the completion of the construction would pave way for the container terminal operator, the Lekki Free Port Terminal (a subsidiary of CMA/CGM group), to take over the Port in readiness for the start of port operations.
In his goodwill message on behalf of Tolaram (promoter and shareholder), the Managing Director of Lagos Free Zone, Mr Dinesh Rathi, expressed delight at the timely completion of the construction of the port.
Rathi said that the port would further position the LFZ as the next frontier for investment in Nigeria and increase foreign direct investment to Lagos State and Nigeria.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Cui Jianchun, commended CHEC for displaying excellence in their project skills and promoting China’s commitment to Africa’s infrastructure development drive.
He noted that the project was a good example of what could be achieved when Nigeria and China cooperate, he looked forward to more of such projects. (NAN)
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