- The first-in-the-region Ship-to-Shore cranes at the Lekki Freeport Terminal strategically deployed to ensure efficient and speedy loading and offloading of cargo from vessels
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Built to run on automated systems, operators of the Lekki Deep Sea Port have assured shippers of a faster vessel turnaround time and shorter cargo dwell time, stating that cargo clearance from the port takes between five to 10 days.
Making this disclosure in Lagos, the Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) – the subsidiary of the CMA/CGM Group and operator of the container terminal at the Lekki Deep Sea Port, said the cargo clearance time is faster compared to what currently obtains at ports across the country.
The LFT Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Kehinde Olubi-Neye, explained that the project’s promoters made significant investments in process automation to drastically reduce the needless delay being experienced at the other ports.
Olubi-Neye, who spoke at a recent parley by the management of Lekki Deep Sea Port – LFT and Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL), said the automation process is linked to the automated port gate to allow for vehicle booking system, where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance.
He revealed that the port has completed the construction of a 150-capacity truck park, adding that the port was already exploring the option of barge operation for cargo evacuation.
“We have executed significant barge moves between Ikorodu and Kirikiri. We have done over five barge moves totalling 900 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) of containers,” he said.
“We also believe this would allow Lekki Port to play a role in cargo uptake to Eastern ports of Calabar, Onitsha and Warri.”
For the Chief Operating Officer of Lekki Port, Laurence Smith, the Lekki Port project remains a watershed in the history of maritime in Nigeria, and stakeholders, including the media, should continue to support and promote it.
“This is the gateway to maritime and beyond. I have not seen any investment like this anywhere than in Dubai. This port can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Nigeria and hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Smith said.
Likewise, the Executive Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL), Mrs. Adesuwa Ladoja, has described the Lekki Deep Sea Port as a project of pride not only to the promoters but also the government and people of Nigeria.
She urged the media to continue supporting the project and to shape and push positive perceptions to boost the investors’ confidence and the port’s success in delivering on its economic potential for the country.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Controller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joseph Ephraim, has assured of the agency’s availability and readiness to provide the much-needed support through the necessary checks before cargo evacuation.
Ephraim reiterated the NCS’ commitment to collaborating and cooperating with other regulatory agencies to guarantee timely evacuation of cargo at the port.
Also, the representative of the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Ikechukwu Onyemachara, said the NPA as shareholder and regulator, was proud to be associated with the project and remains unwavering in its commitment to the project.
“This is a Nigerian project and we are very proud to be associated with it. We will fast-track any necessary approval (that) Lekki Port needs and continue to do our best to provide marine services,” Onyemachara said.
Also at the media parley were representatives of all the regulators at the port, including NPA, NEPZA, NCS, NDLEA, Nigeria Police and DSS, all of whom pledged their agencies’ support and cooperation for the success of the port.
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