The Managing Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL), Mr. Du Ruogang, has announced that the $1.5 billion newly completed Lekki Deep Sea Port is ready for official commissioning and commencement of commercial operations in the first quarter of 2023.
The port is expected to boost the growth of the Nigerian economy, creating about 170,000 direct and indirect jobs, generating approximately $361 billion during the period of the concession, and generating over $201 billion in revenue for both Lagos State and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
According to Ruogang, at the end of the year media parley held in Lagos, assured that all necessary arrangements are being put in place for the official commissioning by President Muhammadu Buhari, after which the port will be fully set for the start of commercial operations.
He noted that the terminal operator, Lekki Free Port Terminal (LFT), is putting everything in place to give a world-class port experience, adding that all the relevant agencies have been sensitised to undertake their roles in the new port.
He applauded the media, noting that the media is an important stakeholder in the port's success.
He also requested that the media extend the same support to the container terminal operator, Lekki Freeport Terminal, as they prepare to commence operations.
During the parley, it was noted that while Lagos State Government commenced work on the construction of access roads leading to the port, there was an appeal for more support in the area of infrastructural development to ensure easy cargo movement out of the port.
He also expressed appreciation to the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation and other relevant agencies, including the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for their contribution to making the port a reality.
In his remarks, the Chief Operating Officer, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL), Laurence Smith, revealed that full commercial operation will commence at the end of the first quarter of 2023 while the terminal operator, Lekki Free Port Terminal, will be carrying out trial operations once they complete the installation of all necessary port equipment and infrastructure.
Smith hinted that Lekki Port has already opened up discussions with potential operators of the Liquid berth terminals, which is critical to the commencement of the construction of Phase 2 of the port.
The Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) is the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that was awarded the Concession Agreement for the development and operations of the Lekki Deep Sea Port by the Nigerian Ports Authority. LPLEL is required to develop, build and operate a common user multipurpose port. The company sub-concessioned the container terminal operations to Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT), a subsidiary of CMA/CGM, the world's largest container shipping company.
LPLEL is a joint venture enterprise owned by foreign promoters, Lekki Port Investment Holdings Inc (comprising China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. and Tolaram), the Lagos State Government, and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
LPLEL is incorporated under the Companies & Allied Matters Act regime and licensed by the Lagos Free Zone to operate in the Free Zone under the NEPZ Act. This opens a host of benefits for Lekki Port regarding taxes, duties, and other incentives.