The promoters of the Lekki Deep Sea Port- Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) and the terminal operator-Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) have expressed the readiness of the Port for transhipment operations and restore the status of Nigeria as a cargo transhipment hub, especially within the West Africa region.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Freeport Terminal, Mr Yann Magarian, made this known while fielding questions from shipping and maritime editors during a joint media parley organised by the two companies held at the Port in Lagos on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.According to him, the Port is strategically positioned and well-equipped to help recover the transhipment of cargo lost to neighbouring West African countries and landlocked countries such as Niger and Chad Republic.“We have had meaningful discussions with all the necessary stakeholders, including Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Customs Service, and we are confident of recovering transhipment cargo not only for the hinterland but also landlocked countries and other countries in Africa,” he said.Magarian further noted that Lekki Port is the first Port in the region with sophisticated equipment, such as Ship to Shore (STS) cranes, to handle and discharge cargo from some of the largest vessels in the world. He stressed that the Port is fully automated to the extent that it limits as much human interface as is common with existing ports.Also speaking during the media parley, the Chief Operating Officer Lekki Port, Laurence Smith, noted that the Lekki Port project remains a watershed in the history of maritime in Nigeria, urging stakeholders, including the media, to continue to lend their support by promoting it.“This is the gateway to the maritime and beyond. I have not seen any investment like this anywhere other than in Dubai. This port can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Nigeria and hundreds of thousands of jobs”, Smith said.In his remarks, the Chief Commercial Officer, Lekki Freeport Terminal, Kehinde Olubi-Neye, commended the Federal and the Lagos State Governments for their support, especially on the work progress on the network of roads connecting the Port for cargo evacuation.He disclosed stated that the management of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) and the terminal operator-Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), as well as other companies, have been in strategic meetings with the Lagos Ministry of Transportation for a holistic traffic management framework for the entire axis including the deployment of a vehicle booking system that would complement its comprehensive e-call-up system initiative.Olubi-Neye explained that the automation process at the Port is linked to the automated gate that allows for a vehicle booking system where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance. He revealed that the Port had completed its truck park with the capacity to accommodate 150 trucks at a time.Delivering the votes of thanks at the end of the parley, the Executive Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) Mrs. Adesuwa Ladoja described the Lekki Deep Sea Port as a project of pride not only for the promoters but for the government and the 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.The media parley was also attended by the representatives of all the regulators at the Port, including NPA, NEPZA, The Nigerian Customs Service NDLEA, Nigeria Police, and DSS. All the government agencies present pledged their support and cooperation to the success of the Port.