Buhari visits Lagos, kicks off $1.5b deep seaport today

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to lay a foundation stone for the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport, the first in the country.

The seaport situated at the heart of the Lagos Free Trade Zone, will be one of the most modern ports in West Africa, offering enormous support to the burgeoning commercial operations across Nigeria and the entire West Africa.

When completed, the port 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 on more than 90 hectares of land, the Lekki port is situated 65 kilometers east of Lagos city and its is billed to be completed in 2020.

According to Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise, “the development of Lekki Deep Sea Port has been conceptualised on the basis of a significant gap in projected demand and capacity.

Market studies indicate that the demand for containers is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.9 per cent up to 2025. However, given the expansion constraints on the existing infrastructure, the capacity in Lagos is incapable to meet the growing demand.

“The capacity shortfall for container terminal facilities in Lagos was projected to be 0.8 million TEUs in 2016 going up to 5.5 million TEUs in 2025.

The strategic location, flexible and optimised layout and modern facilities provide Lekki port a distinct competitive edge over any other port facility in West Africa.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the enterprise, Navin Nahata, commended Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the major stakeholders in the project, for their unwavering support.

Nahata noted that the commencement of construction and the quick progress recorded so far could not have been possible without the stakeholders. He also commended the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as other regulatory agencies for their commitment to making the port a reality. He praised the host communities for being peaceful and supportive.

Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, assured the management of Lekki Port of the unwavering commitment of the Governor Akinwumi Ambode-led administration towards the actualisation of the project.

The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, reaffirmed the support and partnership of the Federal Government to the project through the Ports Authority.

Meanwhile, as Buhari visits today, the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has planned to embark on another round of street protest over the controversial land use charge.

The association, through its chairman, Mr. Adeshina Ogunlana told newsmen yesterday that the protest was a response to the failure of the state government and the House of Assembly to meet its demands.

It was reported that the public hearing organised by the lawmakers turned rowdy on Tuesday as Ogunlana led his team to stage a walkout, insisting that the notice to submit their memorandum was too short.

The group of lawyers lined up the protest to ‘welcome’ Buhari to Lagos, notwithstanding the work-free day declared by the state government.
Ogunlana said the protest would hold at 2:00 p.m. after the president would have commissioned a newly built bus terminal in Ikeja.

But the state police command warned that it would not tolerate any protest in any part of the state today, threatening to arrest anyone that attempts to breach security.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed. We will arrest anyone who comes out tomorrow (today) to protest and charge him with very severe offences. In addition, it has come to the command ‘s notice that the Ikeja branch of the NBA is being used by some disgruntled politicians in Lagos.
“The issue of land use charge has been addressed by the NBA.

They were with me, they registered for police backup in an earlier planned protest. Since it is their fundamental right to stage a peaceful protest, I provided them policemen and they did their protest peacefully.

“ For them now to say they are taking the protest to Mr. President who has nothing to do with the land use charge shows they are being used. We will treat them as such if they come out tomorrow. They have been warned.”