FG: With Lekki Port, Nigeria to Wrest Lost Cargoes from Neighbours, Targets Over $201bn in Taxes, Duties

FG: With Lekki Port, Nigeria to Wrest Lost Cargoes from Neighbours, Targets Over $201bn in Taxes, Duties

•As project set to create 169,972 Jobs

Kasim Sumaina and Gilbert Ekugbe

The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Lekki Deep Sea Port when completed would make Nigeria regain the maritime business that it lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

According to the Minister, it would also be a big boost for Nigeria in its quest to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The minister who said this during a tour of the Lekki Deep Sea Port, also estimated that over $201 billion in taxes, royalties and duties would be generated for the Nigerian government when the port commences operations in the fourth quarter of 2022.

He said the aggregate impact of the Lekki Deep Sea Port put at $361 billion in 45 years would be over 200 times the cost of building the port.

According to him, the deep sea port would be a game changer because of the impact it would have on the nation’s economy when completed.

“The investment is huge – $1.53 billion on fixed assets and $800 million dollars on construction. In addition, it will create 169,972 jobs and bring revenues totalling $201 billion to state and federal governments through taxes, royalties and duties.

“The direct and induced business revenue impact is estimated at $158 billion in addition to a qualitative impact on manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector,” he added.

Speaking further, the minister said: “The Lekki Deep Sea Port, a build, own, operate and transfer concern, is a massive project, a game changer and a pace setter. It is the deepest sea port in Nigeria and West Africa, and that in itself is a unique advantage.

“A major advantage we have to leverage is transshipment. With this port, Nigeria will become a transshipment hub and the revenue we are currently losing to our neighboring countries will come here and that is big,” he said.

“As you know, this project is being done in phases. Phase one has reached 89 per cent and will be completed in September this year. The facilities here are first class. We have seven ships to shore cranes and 21 RTG cranes.

“No port in Nigeria currently has this. The excellent equipment is why this port can do 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu), which is more than four times the number that can currently be handled by our other ports,” he averred.

Responding, the Managing Director, Lekki Deep Sea Port, Du  Ruogang, said the port would change the economic landscape of Nigeria and West Africa at large.

He said the Lekki port would soon become a central hub for the West African region.

Also, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council, (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, described the port as a game changer for the Nigerian economy, but stressed the need for critical infrastructure to be developed to ease evacuation of cargoes out of the port.

“We need to map out modalities on how we can evacuate cargoes out of the port so that we do not have a replica of Apapa and Tin Can ports,” he said.

“This visit is the second we are making to this area within a month, coming after our trip to the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals as well as the Dangote Fertilizer on April 3rd 2022,” he added.

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