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Lekki Port: Billion-dollar game changer for Nigeria’s economy

IFM_Nigeria Lekki Port
Many of Nigeria’s seaports, inherited from the British colonial administration, are severely hit by operational constraints

Du Ruogang, the Managing Director of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited, said that the new port is a game-changer that will change the way maritime activities are done in Nigeria and the whole West African sub-region.

The facility was officially opened in Nigeria in January 2023 and is intended to help the nation with its port congestion problems.

Du Ruogang said at the official opening of the Lekki Port that it would increase the country’s trade amount and GDP.

Additionally, increased port efficiency, cost-effective port operations and services, and quicker turnaround times for cargo processing and clearance will all strengthen the competitiveness of external trade.

Importing goods too will take less time because of the port.

Lekki Freeport Terminal CEO Denrick Moos said that the facility would start a new era of container terminals in Nigeria and West Africa because of its state-of-the-art infrastructure.

On a 1.2-kilometre quay with a depth of 16 meters, Nigeria’s first deep sea port has 13 quay cranes with a capacity of 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The facility will be able to run ships with up to 15,000 TEUs, making it one of the biggest in West Africa.

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, who was also present during the port’s inauguration, has made building infrastructure a key pillar of his government’s economic policy and hopes this will help his ruling party win votes during the 2023 presidential election.

Many of Nigeria’s seaports, inherited from the British colonial administration, are severely hit by operational constraints. Right now, most commercial activity goes through the two in Lagos and two others in and around Port Harcourt, the nation’s oil capital, resulting in steady gridlock and logistics issues for imports and exports.

Local newspaper Punch reported Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as saying that “the size of vessels that will be coming here could be up to four times the size of vessels that currently berth at Tin Can and Apapa Ports [Lagos’s existing ports].”

The new Lekki Deep Sea Port is 75% owned by the China Harbour Engineering Company and Singapore’s Tolaram Group, with the balance shared between the Lagos state government and the Nigerian Ports Authority.

During an interaction with Reuters, Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun said, “This is a transformative project, a game changer project. This project could create at least 200,000 jobs.”

Photo credit: lekkiport.com

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