Lekki Deep Seaport Not Threat To Lagos Ports   – Experts

Lekki Deep Seaport Not Threat To Lagos Ports   - Experts
Lekki Seaport

 

Despite its huge potentials as being capable  of boosting the nation’s economy and launching  it on the global  landscape as maritime hub,the Lekki Deep Seaport,experts  have said, is not a threat to Lagos ports.

 The non existence of good road  network, absence  of rail system , and other inter- modal means of evacuation of cargo from the deep seaport are key indicators of the likelihood of the port starting on a wrong footing.

 This observation was made at the League of Maritime Editors 2022 Annual Retreat  and Lecture with the theme: “Lekki Deep Seaport: Identifying Gains Challenges,and Potential Threat to Lagos Ports”,held at the Lagos Airport Hotels,Ikeja,last week.

 Presenting a paper with the title: ‘Lekki Deep Seaport: identifying gains , Challenges and Potential Threat to Lagos Ports”, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),Mr Mohammed.Bello-Koko,who was ably represented by Mr.Ayodele Durowaiye, Assistant General Manager, Operations,stated that the Lekki deep seaport portend many benefits however the major challenge that may bedevil the operations of the port is the constraints of evacuation of goods.

“There are constraints of hinter land connectivity. Basically, as we speak today, the land connectivity in terms of road is non- existent at the moment, and is therefore a challenge. And if you are moving these cargoes and boxes, using barges, you know there are cost implications for that. So we should know that  where we  are today, there are challenges in that. And these are considered as a major challenge. It is also important to note that the port is segmented into two: There is the aspect of the maritime and the aspect of hinter land connectivity.

The supposed threat of Lekki deep seaport to Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island is unfounded according to Bello- Koko.

” There seems to be this morbid fear by stakeholders that the emergence of Lekki deep seaport ,may signal the end of Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island port. And may be they will be reduced to mere tourist ports.This is simply not true. The deep seaport operates by principles of hub. And as a derivative of this ,the existing ports will simply function as a feeder ports,” he said.

The NPA boss noted that  the Lekki deep seaport is the deepest port in West Africa with16.5 meters draft and the first deep seaport in Nigeria.

 Describing design of the port,Bello-Koko stated that ,”The Port construction itself is in two phases. It has a container dry bulk and liquid bulk facility. The first phase has been completed. We believe one of the key shipping lines CGM, will be the primary driver of Lekki deep seaport. It will be hosting very large vessel,like Panamax vessels sometimes. It has a dry bulk facility, there is also plans to have silos and warehouses to be connected by conveyor belts and the likes. The Port is currently equipped with five modern ship to shore facilities,” he said .

Chairman of the occasion, Chief Mrs.Chinwe Ezenwa,former acting Managing Director of National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA),and former Director ,Federal Ministry of Transportation,described the League of Maritime Editors as trail blazers.

She noted that the  gathering of eminent personalities today ,shows that there is enough impact that can be made by all to move Nigeria forward.

 Mrs Ezenwa noted that the conference came at an suspicious time and that the theme of the conference is apt.

She suggested that the outcome of the conference should be taken seriously, because the conference should be produced as a working document for the incoming administration, on how to manage ports, particularly on how to manage the Lekki Deep Seaport because most people are thinking that it is a disaster  waiting to happen.

She said”,I have not gone to any conference where anybody is talking about this Lekki deep seaport,on how is it  going to work.I think the League of Editors are the ones Nigerians should be grateful to, for attempting to bring all this caliber of people in the house .

This conference will determine how seriously the next administration,will take the issue of port development in Nigeria, particularly deep sea port development”,  she  said.

Speaking at the occasion ,the Vice Chairman ,ENL Consortium who was equally represented by Dr.Bolaji Akinola, dismissed the fear  that Lekki Deep Seaport is a potential threat to Lagos Port and Tin Can Island port.

 “Lekki Deep Seaport  is not a threat to Lagos Port and Tin Can port.” She assured.

She however warned that urgent measures must be taken to address the road infrastructure that is obviously missing in the deep seaport architectural design ,so that it does not become another Apapa replication.

 She noted that cargo evacuation from the Lekki deep seaport would be a great challenge owing to the absence of rail, good road network and other inter- modal facilities.

“I think that rail would have been planned with that port. I also think that barging should have been infused into the blue print of that port” she said.

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