The Lekki deep seaport will be completed and begin commercial activities in six months from now.
The project which will be commissioned by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration when completed and operational, would contribute $360 billion to the Nigerian economy over the course of 45 years.
This was disclosed Sunday in Lagos after the inspection of the project by the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi. He expressed satisfaction with the pace of work, noting that the port was the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Amaechi said the deep seaport was “a privately funded project, over time, they (contractors) will collect their revenue from the commercial activities before they hand over to the Federal Government.
“But obviously taxes will be collected here, even them (Contractors) will pay taxes, I am not sure there were any taxes mentioned in the agreement, but I doubt there is any tax exemption.
“So, we will collect taxes here, the confidence in giving them the project is because of the taxes that we will collect here that will help us in the construction of other projects.”
The Minister assured that the contractors will recover the money invested in the project and will contribute to the GDP of the nation annually.
He said the project will contribute over “$360 billion over the years. It sounds much, but we actually need more of that money to accomplish what we want to achieve.”
On the expansion of the seaport, the Minister complained that the port was not spacious enough to accommodate high-level economic activities in years to come.
“It also depends on how much the economy will grow before then. The growth of the economy will put pressure on the expansion. The argument we had in cabinet is that the need for a deep seaport at Lekki was a result of the fact that the demand for port activities in the country has exceeded the supply of tincan and Apapa around Lagos.
“This is the first seaport in Nigeria, what we had all these other ones are river ports. The tincan is a river port, the Apapa is a river port and Port Harcourt. Right here you have 16.5 meters drafts 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.
We need just more than Lagos deep seaport and for me, before I leave office I will emphasise on the construction of the Bonny deep seaport,” he stated.
Amaechi also lamented that he would have loved to connect the Lekki deep seaport to a rail line but funding of rail projects was currently a challenge for Nigeria.
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, that was my imagination. But the Lagos-Calabar rail project needs $11.1 billion funding”, adding that there were no such funds at the moment for the project.
He advised the Port Contractors to invest in the rail sector too. “Another 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.
“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,” he stated.
Amaechi revealed that the deep port will be completed in June and operational by September 2022.
Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE) signed a 45-year concession agreement with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in April 2011, to develop, build, own, operate and transfer the Lekki deepsea port project under the Nigerian Ports Authority Act 2004.
LPLE is a joint venture of Tolaram Group (75%), Lagos State Government (20%), and the Nigerian Ports Authority (5%).
US-based company Louis Berger was contracted by Tolaram Group to serve as the project management consultant. The scope of the contract includes design, construction and commissioning of all marine and landside port facilities.
China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise (CHELE), a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), is responsible for the design and construction of the marine and landside infrastructure for the container terminal and utilities.
The CMA CGM Group signed a memorandum of agreement with LPLE in April 2018 to operate the Lekki port’s container terminal.
Lekki port project benefits
Lekki deepsea port will create approximately 170,000 direct and indirect jobs. It will also generate up to $201bn revenue to state and federal agencies through taxes, duties and royalties.
The port is expected to develop direct and induced business revenue of $158bn and contribute an aggregate of $361bn to the Nigerian economy.