Sambo urges speedy linkage of Lekki Port by rail as facility nears completion

  • Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko (left), Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Lekki Port, Du Ruogang, Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, during the minister’s first official visit to Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos…weekend

By Anthony Nwachukwu

Minister of Transportation, Mr. Mu’azu Sambo, has urged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and promoters of the Lekki Deep Sea Port to take urgent steps to link the facility by rail after it recently took delivery of two shipments considered critical to its commencement of operations before the end of 2022.

The first shipment of super post-Panamax state-of-the-art Ship to Shore (STS) cranes and 10 Rubber Tyred Gantries (RTGs) was delivered on July 1, 2022, while the second, comprising two STS cranes with 115 packages of accessories and five RTGs with 270 packages of accessories, came on August 5, 2022.

Construction work at the seaport, which is set to be the nation’s first fully automated facility, is now on track to be completed on schedule, even as the NPA early August secured an expedited presidential approval to gazette it as a Customs Port and an Approved Wharf, in line with the requirements.

Sambo, who visited the seaport over the weekend, expressed delight at the pace and quality of work at the site and commended the NPA for its support, which enabled the handlers to meet the project’s timelines.

On his part, the NPA Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko, said “the fact that the letter of intent between Lekki Deep Seaport and its financial partners was signed in April 2019 and by 2022 we are close to operationalisation, this project symbolises the possibilities that tenacity of purpose can actualise.”

He restated NPA’s unwavering commitment to providing every necessary support and facilitation to ensure that the timelines for take-off are met.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Lekki Deep Seaport, Mr. Du Ruogang, while making a presentation to the minister and his entourage, disclosed that the construction work for Phase 1 was currently at about 96 per cent complete.

Alongside the Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), the Lekki Port team was working hard to ensure completion of construction work in September 2022, and thereafter port operations will start before the end of the year, he added.

Ruogang also commended the Lagos State Government for its support, especially with the road infrastructure, which he noted as critical to the success of such magnitude of port. Acknowledging the commencement of work on the road, he urged expedited construction work to ensure unhindered evacuation of cargo from the port.

According to Rougang, on completion, the port will have three container berths, three liquid berths and a storage yard with over 15,000 ground slots terminal designed to support a throughput of 2.7 million TEUs annually.

It will also have a dry bulk terminal with an available quay length of about 300m, among other distinctive features.

The port places Nigeria on the global list of nations with deep seaports and positions the country to maximise the comparative advantages of its maritime endowments and littoral assets.

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