The Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited has said the coming onstream of the Lekki Deep seaport would accelerate growth in Nigeria’s maritime traffic.

The Managing Director of LPLEL, Mr Du Ruogang, said this to selected journalists at the inauguration of the Lekki Deep seaport at Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State.

He said that the port would facilitate trade volume growth for Nigeria and increase the Gross Domestic Product.

Ruogang described the port as a game-changer that would redefine maritime activities in Nigeria and the entire West African sub-region.

He added that the port had been scheduled to commence operations by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

“With Lekki Port, Nigeria will witness a growth in maritime traffic and global trade and strengthen connectivity and capability to provide efficient and reliable services. Lekki Port, no doubt, will be a critical engine that will drive the Nigerian economy upon the commencement of operations. I am equally confident that it would help to reinforce Nigeria’s status as a regional maritime hub and enable many related industries to flourish,” he said.

The LPLEL boss, highlighted other macro-economic benefits of the port to the economy to include, including “improvement of external trade competitiveness through improved port efficiency; cost-effective port operations and services; improved turnaround time for cargo handling and clearance; a reduction in delays in the supply of raw materials and equipment; as well as reduced costs of importations and charges such as demurrage, among others”.

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Freeport Terminal, operated by CMA Terminals, a subsidiary of the CMA CGM Group, Mr Denrick Moos, noted that in addition to its state-of-the-art infrastructures, Lekki port is a new generation container terminal.

He said the project would be a game-changing infrastructure in Nigeria and West Africa. “The port is Nigeria’s first deep sea port and is equipped with 13 quay cranes for a capacity of 2.5 million 20-foot equivalent units on a 1.2 kilometre quay with a depth of 16 metres. It will operate vessels with a capacity of up to 15,000 TEUs and become one of the largest in West Africa,” he explained.

According to him, through the new container terminal at Lekki port, the CMA CGM Group would further develop its presence in Nigeria, adding that I would consolidate its African global shipping and logistics network.

“Committed to supporting its customers’ supply chains in Nigeria and West Africa with a comprehensive range of shipping and logistics solutions, the CMA CGM Group also participates in strengthening the region’s logistics and ports infrastructures through significant investments as a global port operator with its subsidiary CMA Terminals,” he further stated.

On his part, the Chairman of Lekki port, Mr Biodun Dabiri, appreciated to the President and his team for supporting the project.

He stressed that the management of the port was working round-the-clock to make the port operational soon.

“We owe a great deal of this success to the visionary leadership of President Buhari, who provided the much-needed support to make the project a reality. We are immensely grateful to President Buhari, Governor Sanwo-Olu, and all other stakeholders for their role in the actualisation of the Port. For us, we would continue to be a willing partner in the quest to achieve significant economic growth by investing in Nigeria,” Dabiri said.