…..It ‘ll improve Nigeria port industry, promote int’l trade – CHEC Chairman
President Muhammadu Buhari will any moment officially commission the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport, first in Nigeria
As at 1.40 pm, dignitaries, including diplomatic corps have stormed the Lekki Deep Sea Port, venue of the commissioning awaiting President Buhari who is also billed to commission other iconic projects in Lagos.
Among the dignitaries in attendance include: Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, Managing Director, MD, of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA Mohammed Bello Koko, DirectorcGeneral DG, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, Emmanuel Jime, among others.
By its size and depth, the Lekki Deep Seaport is expected to be the game changer in West and Central Africa.
Other projects slated for commissioning are the 18.75km six-lane rigid-pavement Eleko Junction to Epe Expressway; the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History; and the MRS Lubricant Factory in Apapa
Buhari, on arrival with the Lagos State Governor, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, will be conducted round the port’s 1.5km long main.
The seaport’s spanning over 600 meters, is enough for a vessel of up to 16,000 standard containers (TEU). The approach channel is 11 km long.
The Lekki Deep Seaport made history last year as it received the first-ever vessel (Zhen Hua 28) to berth at the port.
The port has three terminals: the container terminal, the liquid terminal, and the dry bulk terminal.
According to the promoters, the container terminal has an initial draft of 14 metres, with the potential for further dredging to 16.5 metres. The terminal is able to handle 2.5 million 20-foot standard containers per year.
The deep-sea port of Lekki is the first port in Nigeria with ship-to-shore cranes. It has three of these container gantry cranes; they belong to the “Super-post-Panamax” group – this means that they can reach and unload the rearmost row of containers even if the container ship is wider than the Panama Canal (49m or 160ft maximum boat beam).
The STS cranes have a fixed rail at the quayside. They can lift 65 tons in twin-lift mode, 50 tons in single-lift mode or 85 tons under a hook.
The port’s computerised system will allow container identification and clearance from the office, and human interaction will be minimal in the physical operations
When phase 2 is completed, the deep sea port will have three liquid berths. The liquid cargo terminal will handle vessels up to 45,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage) and can expand to reach a capacity of 160,000 DWT.
Liquids (like petrol or diesel) will be handled at a tank farm near the port. The docking area is equipped with loading arms. It is also connected by pipelines along the breakwater.
The bulk terminal with an available quay length of 300m can accommodate a Panamax class vessel (75,000 DWT).
Meanwhile, Chairman of China Harbour Engineering Company, CHEC, the project construction company,Tang Qiaoliang, said that the completion and commencement of operation of Lekki Deep Sea Port will improve the Nigerian port industry, easing the burden of cargo shipment flow, creating employments, and ultimately promote international trade in the nation.
Qiaoliang stated this at the official commissioning.
The CHEC Chairman explained that Lekki Port is the first deep sea port in Nigeria, a major trade hub in West Africa.
According to him, “Lekki Port is the first deep sea port in Nigeria, a major trade hub in West Africa. It will improve the Nigerian port industry, easing the burden of cargo shipment flow, creating employments, and ultimately promote international trade in the nation.
“As an international top-tier engineering contractor, investment operator, urban developer and ecological manager, CHEC insists to its philosophy ‘value-orientation’, commits itself to upgrading of ‘platform plus industrial leading’strategy.
“With such strategy, we see the opportunity in Nigeria, and believe in its potential.
“So we committed the adequate financial investments and essential technology, together with Nigerians in the construction and operation of the Port.
“Under the framework of the China Africa Forum and the Belt and Road Initiative, we look forward to establishing long-term strategic partnerships, in the infrastructure sector with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“This will ultimately deepen the relations and cooperation between Nigeria and China, better serving the Nigerian people and its economy,” he noted.
Similarly, Chairman Tolaram, Mohan Vaswani in his goodwill message, commended both the State and Federal Government for their Corporation and dedication to the çompletion of the project.
Vaswani thanked President Mohammadu Buhari for “for creating an enabling environment for foreign investors to flourish in Nigeria.
“I must thank everyone who has been with us through thick and thin, Jending their support and encouraging us to make sure we deliver on this project. This kept us going even when it seemed there was no hope.
“Lagos State Government since the time of my good friend and brother, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government, through successive administrations up till the dynamic and hardworking Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been with us forging a path together on this iconic project.
“At the Federal level and the parastatals, we have enjoyed strong cooperation from everyone.
“I also celebrate our partner, China Harbour Engineering Company for committing resources to the project which was a turning point for the project,” he noted.
Chairman Tolaram, Mr. Mohan Vaswani, in his address, said, “This Port being completed and commissioned is an important milestone for Tolaram and Nigeria and we are proud of our humble efforts to develop a world-class port in Nigeria.
“This significant milestone will definitely increase the economic well-being of Nigeria and its people and that is the mostimportantthing.
“This journey started in 2003 or so, when President Olusegun Obasanjo gave the approval for the port project to be developed. The journey has been challenging with so many hurdies but with God on our side, and the support of the President Buhari administration we have persevered and today we all have something to be proud of.
“Thank you Mr. President for creating an enabling environment for foreign investors to flourish in Nigeria. I must thank everyone who has been with us through thick and thin, lending their support and encouraging us to make sure we deliver on this project. This kept us going even when it seemed there was no hope.
“Lagos State Government since the time of my good friend and brother, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government, through successive administrations up till the dynamic and hardworking Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has been with us forging a path together on this iconic project.”
Chairman Lekki Deep Sea Port
The chairman of Lekki Port, Mr Biodun Dabiri, had earlier said: “From what I can see, in the next four to five years, the economy of the Lekki environs would be worth $25 billion which translates to N10 trillion – an investment amount almost similar to the whole budget of Nigeria.
“I can tell you that if we focus on this axis alone, the ranking of Lagos as one of the largest economies in Africa would be better; we could move from the 4th to 3rd, 2nd and eventually Number 1.”