The Federal Government has pledged its total commitment and support to the management of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise towards the actualization of the $1.5B Lekki Deep Sea Port.
President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo gave this commitment at the Official Flag-Off Ceremony of the project held at the project site in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos on Thursday, March 29, 2018.
Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated that the project is in line with the Federal Government Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and its emphasis in supporting game-changing infrastructure projects directed at making an impact on trade and commerce.
“We are totally committed to the success of this laudable project because of its enormous economic benefits, with a target of 1.5 Million 20-Foot equivalent units of container capacity annually which is expected to grow to 4.7 Million TEUs, Lekki Port will become the largest port in Nigeria and serve as a hub for port operation for the whole of West Africa”. Osinbajo said.
According to the Vice President, the Lekki Deep Sea Port, which is jointly owned by the Tolaram Group, the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority is expected to be a major boost to the maritime sector and the Nigerian economy at large.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that the Lekki Deep Sea Project is one of the three key projects that the current administration through the Ministry of Transportation is determined to ensure actualization. He noted that the ministry under his watch has helped the promoters of the project to remove all the obstacles, which were hitherto frustrating the smooth take-off of the projects by successive administration.
Also, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman stated that the Nigerian Ports Authority as regulator of ports operations in Nigeria is committed to providing technical support and regulatory environment that would see to the timely completion of the construction work and ensure efficient operation and management of the port.
She declared that NPA would work with all stakeholders to ensure that the deep sea port become a world class facility and an enviable edifice that can stand the test of time, become an institution that would be the pride of all stakeholders and encourage more of such investment.
Delivering his address at the ceremony, the Managing Director (Africa), Tolaram Group, Mr. Haresh Aswani commended the Federal Government for creating an enabling environment and providing necessary support for business growth promising that the company is determined to deliver the Lekki Deep Sea project both to specification and time.
Aswani disclosed that the Lekki Deep Sea Port would support and enhance the development of the various Free Zones in the area, thereby making Lekki the economic hub for the region and also create an enabling environment for the businesses and help in furthering the national policy of improvement in the ‘ease of doing business’ in Nigeria.
“The Lekki Deep Sea Port is a very important and germane project that will contribute immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy, creating about 170,000 direct and indirect jobs, generating approximately $361 billion during the period of concession and generating over $201 billion in revenue to both Lagos State and Federal Government’’ he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of China Harbour Engineering Company, CHEC, the EPC Contractor and one of the major Investors in the project, Mr. Lin Yichong aassured that the company would deliver the Lekki port to the highest international quality for which it is known and present a new standard for ports not only in Nigeria but in Africa and the world.
In his own remarks immediately after the ceremony, the Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Barrister Emmanuel Jime explained that the project is fundamental to the delivery of effective Free Zone Environment that would fast-track Nigeria’s economic drive, provide the much needed jobs and ultimately model Dubai’s Jebel Ali as a commercial hub.
“As a regulator, NEPZA would continue to provide the Free Zone framework to support the Lagos Free Trade Zone and indeed all of our Free Zones to enable the actualization of the economic goals of the nation,” he added.
The official flag-off ceremony event was well attended by dignitaries and top government functionaries including the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode represented by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa, Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Co-operatives, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, the Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Barrister Emmanuel Jime, the Acting Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, Mr. Biodun Dabiri, the Chairman of Lekki Worldwide International Limited amongst others.