FG To Provide Rail Services At Lekki Deep Seaport

FG says Lekki Deep Seaport to commence activities in September, to  contribute $360 billion to GDP - Nairametrics

Yemisi Izuora

President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed Federal Government intention to provide railway link to the Lekki Deep Seaport, just as he directed early completion of the project.

Buhari, during a tour of the port on Tuesday, directed the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to consult and bring up a memorandum to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to link the facility with the railway network.

As part of his engagements in Lagos, the President inspected the rate of work done at the first Deep Sea Port in Nigeria located in Lagos Free Zone, 65Km east of Lagos.

Buhari, received firm assurances that the port, which has a concession period of 45 years and sits on a land area of 90 hectares, will be completed on schedule by September.

Speaking before the tour, Amaechi explained that it was important that Buhari tours the project to aid the timely completion of the project.

According to him, “The reason for asking Mr President to come to Lekki port is to publicise the seaport so that people will know this government is building a seaport and the first deep seaport in Nigeria. The other ports in Nigeria are all river ports.

“The next reason for the President coming here is to put the heat on them (contractor) so that the project will be completed on time. You know that the port is almost ready, if not for the equipment. They can actually get this place ready before June, but they said the equipment is arriving by June and installation will take them till September and then it can be commissioned in September.

“You see the miracle of bringing the President here. That is why it is important for a President to inspect projects because that will hasten the process of completion if there is money.”

On expansion plans of the Lekki deep seaport, Amaechi hinted that plans are underway to relocate some communities to pave the way for the expansion of the deep seaport.

“We said we should expand and acquire more lands. There are about 5, 000 inhabitants along the side water there and we said preparations should be made to either relocate them or find a solution, but I think relocation would be the best because if you do your environmental service, the implication is that you don’t just dislodge people from their natural environment even though the law gives you the power to own the land. You must take into consideration those who live around the area.

“I want to have a conversation with the Lagos State Governor on what will happen because we need to acquire all that land, which is about 1, 000 hectares.”

Also speaking during the Presidential inspection of the Lekki port, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko explained that the Lekki Deep Seaport would be ready for a test run in September this year after which the first commercial visit can be received at the port.

In his words, “The port is located on about 90 hectares of land, and is supposed to have three container terminals and will be the first automated port in Nigeria that will enable the speedy clearing of goods.

“The commencement of Lekki Port will reduce the rate of traffic at Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports as there will be Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes that will enable faster processing of goods.”

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