Amid concerns that the Lekki deep seaport project may kick-off without sufficient transport linkages, the management of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) has assured that it is working with the Federal Government and Lagos State Government to ensure the expansion of road network and construction of additional roads before operations commence.
According to the company, these activities coupled with the provision of a rail connection would ease cargo evacuation as the seaport is expected to berth ships carrying about 18,000 TEUs from the last quarter of 2022.
The Managing Director of LPLEL, Du Ruogang, gave the assurance in Lagos yesterday during a media tour of the facility, stressing that efforts are also in place to connect the port by rail.
His words: “With Dangote Refinery just beside us, it is expected to operate with nothing less than 700 trucks, we are optimistic that efforts are in place to expand the road networks and also link the port by rail.
“The road is currently a single lane road network but we are confident that before port operations commences next year, the road will have been expanded to a two lane highway to accommodate seamless cargo evacuation at the ports while also servicing the cluster of businesses that will spring up around here by next year when the ports become operational.”
“Nobody wants to repeat the problem in Apapa. We are working with the Federal, State government, the Free Trade Zone landlord and Lekki port. We are all committed towards ensuring that at the right time, everything is put in place. It is something that is agitating the minds of everyone.”
He posited that the Ministry of Transportation is working to ensure that the port is connected to rail, however, he couldn’t give a timeline for this whilst the deep seaport commences operations in less than 18 months.
Ruogang said the construction of the $1.6 billion project has reached about 50.35 percent completion adding that it has also completed the 1,909m long core of the main breakwater.
He said work on the quay wall and landside infrastructure has reached 43.14 percent and 27.83 percent respectively.
Noting that China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has invested $1.1billion into the development of the Lekki port project, Ruogang stated that CHEC has become the largest shareholder of the project with a 45 years Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) concession period.
“We now have 70 percent shareholding stake with our partners, Tolarams group having 5 percent, making the total shares 75 percent. The other activities that we have recently started are the marine services by NPA and the operating system by the container terminal,” he said.
He said the port facility has attracted about 1,126 local employees accounting for 83 percent of its total workforce in the project.