NPA MD, Mohammed Bello-Koko during President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Lekki Deep Seaport.
As Lekki Deep Seaport, prepare for commercial operation by September, 2022, terminal operators operating at Tin-Can Island and Apapa port Complex, have expressed concern over the new deep seaport on their operation.
Lekki deep seaport, according to the managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, is expected to receive it first commercial vessel in September, 2022 and will be a game changer.
Also, the executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, said the deep seaport will reduce Port Cost and Cargo dwell time due to automation.
These are features that are absent at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports, making Nigeria economy incur huge financial loses annually.
However, the emergence of the deep seaport has threatened the existence of seaports at Apapa, Tin Can due to the 16.5m draft and automation the port is coming out with.
It was gathered, that terminal operators, under the auspices of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (SOAN), had proposed to Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to deepen the Lagos ports channel or give them opportunity to build their own deep seaport.
The terminal operators are alleged to have also pledged to raise as much as $600m to dredge and deepen the Lagos port channels with a view to attracting bigger vessels to the ports.
SOAN had, however, made a presentation to the management of NPA seeking approval to deepen the channels.
Confirming the development, Managing Director of the NPA, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko said that it is true that other terminal operators are jittery over the emergence of the Lekki Deep Seaport.
Bello-Koko also said that these terminal operators have to up their game, adding that competition is good for the industry.
He said, “Yes they must feel threatened by the emergence of the Lekki deep seaport; that means they have to up their game. Besides, competition is good for the industry.”
The NPA, it was also gathered, has set up a committee to look into the request of the terminal operators and decided against the deepening of the channels as such moves could have dire consequences on the ports and its environment.