The Chairman of the Lekki Port Board of Directors, Mr. Biodun Dabiri on Monday confirmed the completion of the $1.5 billion Lekki deep seaport in Lagos.
Mr Dabiri who while speaking at the completion ceremony described the seaport as a ‘poster child’ for how effective global cooperation and collaboration can bridge the infrastructural gap in Nigeria. He stated that the first deep-sea port in the country will contribute immensely to the growth of the Nigerian economy, creating about 170,000 direct and indirect jobs.
He further informed that the port will automatically make Nigeria the trans-shipment hub of the region, adding that the port will generate approximately $361 billion during the period of the concession, and also generate over $201 billion in revenue for both Lagos State and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
In his words: “We are pleased to celebrate the completion of construction of the port and the effective handover of the facilities by Lekki Port from the EPC Contractor, China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise (CHELE), a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Company.
“It has been a long journey of many steps. Starting from the time when Tolaram led by Pa Mohan Aswani sought to develop a deep sea port for the benefit of the Lagos Free Zone, and indeed all of Lagos State and Nigeria; to getting a concession from the Nigerian Ports Authority for a unique private public partnership port; getting a loan facility from China Development Bank, to the infusion of equity capital in the sum of US$221m by China Harbour Engineering Company, to the start of construction in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic.
“It has indeed been a journey; through it all, CHELE and China Harbour courageously persevered with the construction and by the grace of God and with the support of all the stakeholders, we are able to convene here today for the symbolic exchange of the fully constructed port and we congratulate CHELE on a job well done.
“At this point, I would like to formally acknowledge the key role that His Excellency, Mr. Governor played in resolving many challenges which we encountered in the construction of the port during the COVID-19 pandemic and attendant lockdown. He personally undertook the process of getting immigration approvals for the technical workers from China as well as approvals from the Federal Ministry of Aviation for special flight permissions to bring in the technical workers as well as the new management team for the port from Beijing.
“This singular act was the turning point that ensured that the port was constructed in line with the timelines given by Lekki Port. It was tough, but CHELE delivered, and we commend them for their dedication and hard work.
“This project is a poster child for how effective global cooperation and collaboration can bridge the infrastructural gap in Nigeria. We thank the Government of China which enabled China Harbour Engineering Company and China Development Bank to invest in Lekki Port, and we equally thank the President Muhammadu Buhari government which provided an enabling environment for this investment to flourish” he said.