‘Lekki Deep Seaports Will Force Terminal Operators At Apapa, Tin-Can Ports To Sit-Up’


The managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, yesterday said the operation of the Lekki deep seaport will drive competition among terminal operators in the country.

Speaking on the sideline of the tour of President Muhammadu Buhari, Bello-Koko, said Lekki Port l, will create competition and compel other terminal operators, to up their games by reducing cargo dwell time at their terminals.
According to him, the Lekki Deep Seaport, which has been under construction for years, would be ready for test run in September, 2022, after which the first commercial vessel can be received at the port.
According to him, the port is located on about 90 hectare of land,  supposed to have three container terminals and will be the first automated port in Nigeria that will enable speedy clearing of goods.
Bello-Koko, who noted that the commencement of Lekki Port will reduce the rate of traffic at Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports, said there will be Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes that will enable faster processing of goods.
“Some of the businesses we have lost to other neighbouring West African countries due to draught limitation will be regained. There will be employment creation and increase revenue for government. It will create competition and compel other terminal operators to up their games to reduce cargo dwell time at their terminals.
Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports have been operating far beyond their capacity which means that the excess cargoes that have been going there would be diverted to Lekki Port,” he explained.
On the connectivity of the port to rail line, Bello-Koko said there is already a plan and the Minister of Transportation has given the Nigerian Railway Corporation a directive to carry out a survey on the possibility of linking the port to Lagos-Ibadan railway.
Also speaking, the executive secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, explained that the Lekki deep seaport will change the face of cargo operation in Nigeria.
“From the point of view of an economic regulator, it has been something we have been looking forward to. We have dreamt that this day would come for a number of very important reasons. We have to understand that because of the draft that we are going to have at Lekki Seaport and for the first time in out maritime domain, we are going to have the kind of vessels that have never berthed in our ports.
“So, this is the first deep seaport we are having in our country. From that perspective alone, that gives us the comfort and recognition, that as far as the economies of scale is concerned, we are going to have a boost in commercial activities, in ways that we have never envisaged and experienced before.
“We, at the Shippers council, are indeed very happy to see this port happening. Because of the automation that this port will provide, businesses will be conducted in a way and manner that is efficient and service delivery will be done in a way that it will be cost effective.”

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