In a bid to reduce congestion and complement the capacities of the existing ports in Apapa and Tin Can Island, the Lagos State Government has signed a $629 million facility with the China Development Bank (CDB) for the completion of Lekki Deep Seaport Project.
The $629 million facility was gotten from the Chinese bank after the signing of a 45-year concessionary agreement with Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which owns majority shares in the project.
On completion, the Lekki Deep Seaport is expected to have two container berths of 680-metre long and 16.5-metre water depth. It will also have the capacity to berth fifth generation container ships, with a capacity of 18,000 TEU ship.
In a statement, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the credit facility would quicken the completion of the project which started in 2011 and that with its completion, the Lagos economy would be pushed up in the index of largest economies in the world.
”This is a new beginning for us in Lagos. We have achieved another milestone in our efforts to transform the state and accomplish the 21st-century economy ambition. As a government, we are fully in support of the project.
We will do all we can to ensure the terms of the agreements signed today are delivered within 30 months as agreed. We expect the outcome would catalyse Lagos’ fifth-largest economy and take it up more in the index of largest economies in years to come.”
Plan in the works: Sanwo-Olu noted that as part of his administration’s plan to explore investments and partnerships that would accelerate growth and benefit residents of the state, more trade agreements would be signed with foreign investors in the coming weeks.
Further details: Also present at the signing was the Chairman of Lekki Port Board of Directors, Biodun Dabiri who described the development of the seaport as strategic for the growth of Lekki Free Trade Zone.
Dabiri emphasized the huge impact it would have on the economy by providing more than 200,000 jobs and generating about $350 billion in revenue for the state over the period of the concession.
Speaking on why the Chinese engineering firm decided to invest in the deep seaport, the CHEC Chairman, Lin Yichong said that it was to enable Nigeria strengthen its maritime infrastructure and business as it’s the first deep seaport that would ease pressure on Tin-Can Island and Apapa ports.
Yichong added that phase 1 of the project would be built with annual handling capacity of 1.2 million TEU, hence the capacity would be increased to 2.5 million TEU upon the completion of the second phase.