Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday described the Lekki Deep Seaport as a game changer in the Maritime Sector, with the capacity to turn Nigeria into a shipping hub, boost the economy and create jobs.
Mohammed, who spoke during a Media Tour of the Lekki Deep Seaport, located 65 kilometers East of Lagos, explained that “I called it a game changer because of the impact it will have on the nation’s economy and the jobs it will create, among others.”
The Lekki Port Investment Holding Incorporation is owned by China Harbour Engineering Company and Tolaram Group with 75% share, Lagos State Government 20% and the Nigerian Port Authority hold 5%.
Alhaji Mohammed said the investment in the seaport is worth 1.53 billion dollars on fixed assets and 800 million dollars on construction, adding: ‘’But 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 totalling 201 billion dollars to state and federal governments through taxes, royalties and duties.’’
He disclosed that the direct and induced business revenue impact is estimated at 158 billion dollars, in addition to a qualitative impact on manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector.
The Minister said Nigeria also aims to utilize the Lekki Deep Seaport to regain the maritime business that was lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, stressing that 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 neighboring countries will come here,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed commended the shareholders of the Lekki Deep Seaport for deploying first class equipment for its operations, listing some of such equipment as 7 Ship-To-Shore cranes and 21 Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes
He said the provision of modern equipment is why the port can do 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu), which is more than four times the number that can currently be handled by the other ports in the country.
The Minister said the project is self sufficient in required electricity as it is now ready to generate up to 10 Mega Watts, in addition to an installed capacity of 16 mega watts.
Alhaji Mohammed described the Lekki Deep Seaport as another example of the first class infrastructure being developed across the country by this administration, including roads, rail, airport terminals, gas pipelines, housing, ports, etc.
He appealed to the media to play up the developmental efforts instead of concentrating energy on negativity.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Lekki Deep Seaport, Mr. Du Ruogang, said the port, which had reached 89 percent completion, will commence operations before the end of this year and that in the next seven years, the construction of the second phase of the port will start.