The Nigerian economy is expected to benefit a whopping $561 billion from the development of Lekki Deep Seaport project, LEADERSHIP has learnt. While $361billion is expected to be generated during concessioning, $200 billion will be generated from tax and revenue to the federal, state and local governments.
Speaking at the official flag-off of the construction of the project, President Muhammadu Buhari, said the project was expected to generate over 170,000 direct and indirect jobs. The project also targets about 1.5m Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) container capacity annually which is expected to grow to 2. 7 million and 4.7 million TEUs when they start operations.
President Buhari who was represented by the vice president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo said the port, when operational is expected to receive larger vessels such as Panamax and post Panamax vessels.
He said: “The promoters of this project are targeting about 1.5 million TEUs container capacity yearly, which we expect to grow to about 2.7 million and 4.7 million TEUs when the project operation commences. With this, the Lekki Deep seaport will become one of the best deep water port in our region and serve as hub for port operations in the whole of West Africa.
“The promoters also planned to dredge the port channel to about 16 meter which is not currently obtainable in any port in the country. This is an indication that ships of larger capacity like Panamax, Post Panamax ships and very large crude carriers will now be able to visit the port, and greater efficiency and economies of scale will generate significant revenue for Nigeria’s economy.”
Buhari however noted that the federal government has in the past two budgets provided an aggregate of N90 billion for the development of special economic zones, adding that the deep seaport project is in line with the objectives of creating such economic zones.
Speaking earlier, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode called for public investment that will aid the viability of the Lekki port project. The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Idiat Oluranti Adebule, stated that, “This port which is expected to be delivered by 2020, will be one of the biggest in the West African sub-region.
“Lagos State government has a 20 percent equity stake in the Lekki port project, and is an indication of the faith of the Lagos State government in the project. It has been estimated that this project will facilitate an injection of $2.23 billion for construction and fixed assets into the country.
“However, there is need for public investment to compliment the Lekki port infrastructure, like roads, railway and water infrastructure in order to avoid the present situation that we have at the Apapa and Tin-Can port area of Lagos State,” he said.
On his own part, Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Tolaram Engineering Company and China Harbour for the development of the landmark project.
According to Amaechi, “This will be the first deep seaport in Nigeria. What we have had are river ports. This will help to improve the capacity of Nigerian ports with modern procedure” adding that the ports concession agreement covers 45 years on a build, own, operate and transfer basis.’’
The managing director, Tolaram, Haresh Aswani, assured that the project will be completed within three years, and it will generate over $200 billion revenue for Lagos and federal government. He said the project would support and enhance the growth of various free zones in the area.
Upon completion, the port facility will have three container berths, one dry bulk berth, three liquid berths, 16.5-meter draught, 600 meter turning cycle and a 2.7 million Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) per year.
Built over 90 hectares of land in the heart of the Lagos Free Trade Zone, Lekki Port is situated just 65 kilometers east of Lagos city and slated to be completed in 2020.
Lekki Deep Sea Port will have significant positive impact estimated at $361 billion over the term of concession. It is expected to contribute more than $200 billion to the government exchequer and create close to 170,000 new jobs.
Present an the event are, The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, (NSC ), Barr Hassan Bello; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr, Okechukwu Enelamah; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari; Chairman, Tolaram Group, Mohan Vaswani; MD, Tolaram Group Africa, Vanesh Vaswani among others.