The promoters of the Lekki Port and Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) have disclosed that discussions are ongoing to move containers discharged at the port by barges to the Eastern Ports of Calabar, Warri and Onitsha River Port among others to help increase the economies of those ports.
In an effort to increase the economies of other ports, the promoters of the Lekki Port and Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) have disclosed that discussions are ongoing to move containers discharged at the port by barges to the Eastern Ports of Calabar, Warri and Onitsha River Port among others.
The Chief Commercial Officer of LFT, Kehinde Olubi-Neye, said the port has been able to execute the movement of more than five barges of over 900 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers from Lekki Port to the Ikorodu area of Lagos. Olubi-Neye revealed that the company has so far invested $100 million in cargo handling equipment to fast-track cargo clearance and movements.
“We have been having volumes, we have been having import discharge and export of empty containers. We expect that we will start exporting full containers in the nearest future,” he said. He disclosed that trucks’ turnaround time at the terminal is about 40 minutes, while cargo clearance from the port can be processed between five to 10 days. He added that the port has completed a truck park that can accommodate 150 trucks.
In addition the Lekki port, which costs $1.5 billion, will begin the transshipment of cargoes to landlocked countries in the coming weeks. Lawrence Smith, the Chief Operating Officer of Lekki Port, said there is a need to embrace and promote the port as it can create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of naira for the economy. He added that the company was conducting truck and driver registration to ensure seamless movement around the port vicinity.
On the evacuation of cargoes, he added that the Lekki Port operates an automated system that is linked to the automated gate with a vehicle booking system where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance. Speaking also, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, who was represented by the Manager, Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Onyemakara, assured that the agency would do everything within its powers to grant necessary approvals and provide marine services to the port.
The Chief Operating Officer of Lekki Port, Lawrence Smith, emphasized the need to embrace and promote the port as it has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of naira for the economy. Smith also stated that the company is conducting truck and driver registration to ensure seamless movement around the port vicinity.
In addition, the Zonal Administrator of the Nigeria Export Processing Authority (NEPZA), Garba Hayatu, assured the promoter of the seaport of necessary incentives, adding that all equipment was brought in duty-free. He said having known the challenges of working in the Nigeria Customs Service territory, the free zone is an alternative for the government to diversify trade facilitation.
“We are in discussions with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders on the deployment of the call-up system for the Lekki area and we are confident that the call-up system for trucks will address concerns that prospective port users will have over access to the port,” said Smith.
The Lekki port has been designed to handle all types of cargo, including dry and liquid bulk, general cargo, and containers. The port will be able to accommodate the largest vessels, including container ships and crude oil tankers, and will have an initial capacity of 1.5 million TEUs and 13.5 million metric tonnes of liquid cargo annually.
Overall, the Lekki Port and Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) are making significant progress towards becoming fully operational, with plans to move containers by barges to Eastern Ports and begin transshipping cargoes to landlocked countries in the coming weeks. The port has invested $100 million in cargo handling equipment, and with its technical capacity, draft and state-of-the-art equipment, it has the potential to recover transship cargoes bound for landlocked countries. The port is expected to generate billions of naira for the economy and create hundreds of thousands of jobs, making it a crucial player in the development of the Nigerian economy.