A prototype of Lekki Deep Sea Port
The federal government of Nigeria has reiterated its commitment to support the development of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lekki, Lagos into the biggest and busiest port facility in West Africa. The Vice president Yemi Osinbajo representing President Muhammadu Buhari stated this during the flagging off of the construction of Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos.
Osinbanjo while inspecting the site of the port project promised federal government support towards making the project a reality. The project according to him is set to generate over 170,000 direct and indirect jobs in the economy.
”It is a landmark project for several reasons — the promoters of this project are targeting, we are told, about 1.5 million TEUs (Twenty Equivalent Units) container capacity annually, which they expect to grow to about 2.7 million and 4.7 million TEUs when the project commences.
”With this feat, this seaport will become one of the largest in our region and serve as a hub for ports operations in the whole of West Africa.
”There is no question at all that the project will be the largest in Sub-Saharan Africa and possibly, the largest in Africa.
”I’m also told that the promoters also plan to dredge the port channel to about 16metres draft, which is not currently obtainable in any seaport or any port for that matter in the country.
Officials of Lekki Deep Sea Port
”This, in itself, is an indication that ships of larger sizes will now be able to visit the port, and greater efficiency and economies of scale will generate significant revenues for the Nigerian economy, with government earning a significant portion of it,” he said.
Osinbajo also referred to the synergies of the project with the government economic recovery growth plan as it supports strategic infrastructures that will lead to massive changes in the lives of the citizens.
”We are developing the Lekki Special Economic Zone as a model special economic zone, specifically targeting exports. The development of this deep-sea port is mission-critical to the achievement of the important objective of creating this special economic zone.
”So, the third reason is the commitment of our economic philosophy to private sector leadership of our economic development.
”This project is essentially private sector driven — the Tolaram Group and China Harbour are of course the lead private sector participants in this project.
”And like we have heard, their commitment to this project is total. I commend them for driving this project this far.
”The Nigerian Ports Authority and the Lagos State Government are the public sector partners. The business of government is, in our view, to contribute by way of equity when necessary to the project of this size, but more importantly, to create the enabling environment for the private sector.
”Let me say that we must move ahead to ensure the speedy completion of this project. There would be problems as I’m sure you must have experienced some. But be assured that the Federal Government and the Lagos State government will be with you every step of the way to ensure that we give all the support that is required Osinbajo stated.
Governor Ambode speaking through his deputy Dr. Idiat Adebule welcomes the project as timely and impactful. He described the project as a testimony of government resolve to grow the economy and create jobs for the millions of jobless youths in the country.
He revealed that the 20% equity share the Lagos state government took up in the project was proof of their belief and trust in the project to deliver as envisaged.
He urged the sponsors of the project being the Tolaram group to live up to its billing and deliver the project by 2020 as promised.