Nigeria opened for operation the first deep seaport in the country in the city of Lagos on Monday, January 23. The Lekki Deep Sea Port which was a China-led project was opened by President Muhammadu Buhari. 75% of the new port will be owned by the China Harbour Engineering Company and the Tolaram Group, and the remaining portions of the port will be owned equally by the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Lekki Deep Seaport
“Lekki Port is the first deep seaport in Nigeria, a major trade hub in West Africa. It will improve the Nigerian port industry, easing the burden of cargo shipment flow, creating employment, and ultimately promote international trade in the nation,” said China Harbour Engineering Company Chairman, Tang Qiaoliang. “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 added.
The new port will see more cargo vessels arrive in the West Africa region, hence increasing economic activity. It will reduce the congestion at older ports that sit in waters unable to dock vessels of a larger size. The new port will also see a better vessel turnaround time, which will see the price of importing goods into Nigeria lessen. The Lekki Port is expected to create around 200,000 jobs while bringing in revenue in the billions.
Increased Economic Activity
“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,” said Biodun Dabiri, Chairman of the new port.
The new port took six years to complete and cost $1.5 billion. It has three terminals, which are the container, the liquid, and the dry bulk terminal. Its system will be computerized, allowing container identification and clearance with minimal human involvement in physical operations.