The Federal Government has urged investors of of the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Messrs, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited to consider linking it to rail to avoid the perennial gridlock witnessed on the Apapa and Tincan Island environs.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who made this known today during a ministerial inspection tour of the Lekki Deep Sea Port project in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State, said:“Whether we like it or not, there will be problem here because as you are coming, you saw the problem (trucks), unless you will put a rail track which will have both liquid and dry cargoes on the track and out of Lagos.”
The “advise I could give is if they want to invest; they can invest in rail and then the government will either do tax reduction or do something to help them,” he said.
Continuing Amaechi said: “As a Minister of Transportation, I imagine a lot of things that I could have implemented. I imagined that the Lagos-Calabar rail line would start from here (Lekki Deep Sea Port), that was my imagination. But the Lagos-Calabar rail project needs $11.1 billion funding. If we get the 11.1billion, as it is, we would probably have to divert the rail line because Lagos-Calabar rail line actually goes into Lagos city; we can divert it to come to the seaport in Lekki.”
The Minister further said: “This is the first seaport in Nigeria. What we had all these while are river ports, the tincan is a river port, the Apapa is a river port and Port Harcourt. Right here, you have 16.5 metres depth which is good for the country, but the country needs more than just one of these ports because of the increase in commercial activities in the future,” adding that he will emphasize the need to construct the Bonny deep sea port.
He equally disclosed that the Lekki Deep Sea port is projected to generate 360 billion dollars for the next 45 years when it commences operations by September , 2022, not failing to mention that the port will be fully automated, similar to ports like the DP1 in Dubai with the barest human interference in operations.
Responding to the recent incident of the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s (NRC), Lagos-Ibadan bound train which ran out of gas en route, the Minister apologised, saying it was an unfortunate incident which occurred as a result of a malfunctioning gauge.
Responding to question on Nigerian Ports Authority’s (NPA) stake in Lekki Port, the Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko said the Agency has equity share and will be providing marine services, adding a Project Monitoring Team has been set up by NPA and the Federal Ministry of Transportation to work with the construction companies to ensure the project succeeds.
The Port which sits on 90 hectares of land and has 1560 quay length is to be operated on Build Own Operate Transfer basis.
On the Ministerial inspection were: The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, Directors of the Ministry, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Bashir Jamoh, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Emmanuel Jime, , Managing Director, Lekki Port, Du Ruogang amongst others
Director, Press & PR
13th March, 2022