By Chiazo Ogbolu
The newly-completed Lekki Deep Seaport is ready for inauguration and for commercial operations.
Mr. Du Ruogang, the Managing Director, of Lekki Port Lagos Free Trade Zone Enterprises Ltd. (LPLEL), stated this during a news conference on Wednesday.
“Arrangements had been completed for its inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The terminal operator, Lekki Free Port Terminal (LFT) is putting everything in place to give a world-class port experience.
“All relevant agencies have been sensitised to undertake their roles in the new port,’’ he said.
Ruogang applauded the media for its support in the port’s success and urged practitioners to extend the same support to the container terminal operator, Lekki Freeport Terminal, as it prepares to begin operations.
He noted that as the Lagos State Government began work on the construction of access roads to the port, there was the need for more infrastructural development to ensure easy cargo movement.
He also expressed appreciation to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation and other relevant agencies, including the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), and the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC).
He equally expressed appreciation of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its contribution to making the port a reality.
In his remarks, the Chief Operating Officer, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Ltd. (LPLEL), Mr Laurence Smith, said full commercial operations would begin at the end of the first quarter of 2023.
He added that the terminal operator, Lekki Free Port Terminal would carry out trial operations once it completed the installation of necessary port equipment and infrastructure.
Smith hinted that Lekki Port had already opened up discussions with potential operators of the Liquid Berth Terminals, critical to the commencement of the construction of Phase II of the port.
The LPLEL is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that was awarded the Concession Agreement for the development and operations of the Lekki Deep Sea Port by the Nigerian Ports Authority.
It was required to develop, build and operate a common user multipurpose port.
The company sub-concessioned the container terminal operations to Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), a subsidiary of CMA/CGM, the world’s largest container shipping company.
Lekki Port is a multi-purpose deep seaport at the heart of the Lagos Free Trade Zone, one of the most modern ports, supporting the burgeoning trade across Nigeria and the West African sub-region.
The shareholders are the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Lagos State Government, China Harbour Engineering Company, and Tolaram. (NAN)