The Federal Government of Nigeria disclosed that commercial activities at the Lekki Deep Seaport are expected to commence in September, citing that the port will contribute $360 billion to Nigeria’s GDP.
This was disclosed by the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi in a statement on Sunday, after inspecting the project.
The Minister assured that the port is automated, emphasising that it would be something close to the DP wall in Dubai.
What the Minister is saying
The Minister said that he is impressed with the progress of work, adding that commercial activities would commence in September.
He said, “Inspecting the Lekki Deep Seaport today, there’s huge improvement compared to the last time we visited. The management has assured that the cranes would arrive in June, while commercial activities would commence in September.”
“The Port is estimated to contribute about $360b to Nigeria’s GDP.
”This is a privately funded project, over time they will collect their revenue from commercial activities before they hand over to the Federal Government through NPA.
”Obviously taxes will be collected here, even them, they will pay taxes.
”I doubt there is tax exemption, so we will collect taxes and I must say that the confidence in giving them the project is because of the taxes that we will collect.”
- On the contribution of the port to GDP, he added the growth of the economy will put pressure on the expansion of the project.
- ”The argument we have in the cabinet is that the need for Lekki is as a result of the fact that the demand for port activities have exceeded the supply of Tin Can and Apapa ports around Lagos.
- ”We have more ports than the country needs for now because manufacturing is a big problem in Nigeria coupled with the fact that this is the first seaport in Nigeria.
- ”Right here you have 16.5meters of drought which is good for the country but the country needs more than just one.
- ”This is because they no longer manufacture those 11meters vessels, they now go between 16meters and above. So, we need just more than Lagos deep seaport.
- ”And I think that is why for me before I leave office I will emphasise on the construction of the Bonny Deep Seaport,” he stated.
The minister explained that the project when completed would create more economic activities and jobs for teeming youths among other things. He stated that measures were in place to ensure the ports were automated and of international standard.
”Everything is automated, from the gate till you get here. So you will see something close to what you have in DP wall in Dubai and what you have in Singapore,” he said.
- On rail, Amaechi reiterated the need for a rail system that would convey both liquid and dry cargoes out of Lagos through the ports, saying if this was not done there would be a problem.
- The minister also said that there was a need for extension of the land to enable completion of the project and urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to discuss with the Lagos State government on the issue.
In case you missed it
- Nairametrics reported earlier this year that the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, pushed for an early completion date for the Lekki Deep Seaport project as he urged the contractors to speed up work to enable government to approve all necessary processes before the next general election.