May 30, 2023

Maritime Today Online

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Lekki port invests US$100m in cargo handling equipment

Lekki Freeport terminal assures shippers of faster clearing turnaround time at Lekki port

…. says port not in competition with Apapa, Tin Can ports

Nigeria’s biggest and deepest seaport, Lekki port and its terminal operator, Lekki Freeport terminal (LFT) said it has invested US$100 million, equivalent to about N46billion in the acquisition of modern cargo handling equipment.

Speaking at a media parley in Lagos on Wednesday, Chief Commercial Officer, LFT, Kehinde Olubi- Neye said the Lekki Freeport terminal which is Nigeria’s first terminal equipped with Ship to Shore (STS) cranes and deepest draft is well positioned to take any size of vessel in the world.

He said a total of four vessels have called at the port since it commenced commercial operation this year.

Olubi- Neye noted that the port is not in competition with Apapa and Tin Can Island ports but only concerned about improving maritime trade and delivery of efficient cargo processing that will grow Nigeria’s trade volume.

“We are not here to compete. We are here to connect global maritime trade to Nigeria and that is why we have the deepest draft here. We do not have this draft in any other ports in Lagos and arguably in some West African countries as well.

“So, we are here to offer a service, to improve maritime trade. It is not to compete with other ports but to render a service to the Nigerian people and Nigeria trade,” he said.

Speaking on incentives for cargo owners, Olubi-Neye said the port’s tariff is very competitive when compared with other ports in the country just as he assured stakeholders and investors on return of investment.

He expressed confidence that with the acquisition of modern cargo handling equipment and support from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the port will restore transhipment cargo which Nigeria lost years back.

“We had the opportunity of sitting with the Managing Director of NPA where he reiterated that the Lekki port should get this cargo back. NPA regulates prices and they are interested in ensuring this cargo comes back and we are sure they will provide us with the necessary support.

“We have the equipment and we have the draft to get it done. So, we are quite confident that we will get transhipment back not just hinterland into landlocked countries but the opportunity is to explore transhipment into other regional ports within Africa.,” he said.


He disclosed that trucks turnaround time at the terminal is about 40minutes, while cargo clearance from the port can be processed between five to ten days.

He added that the port has completed a truck park that has capacity to accommodate 150 trucks.

On cargo evacuation from the port, Olubi- Neye said that the port operates an automated system that is linked to the automated gate with the vehicle booking system where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance.

“This also supports the initiative of the Lagos State Government with regards to the comprehensive call-up system for the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Port, Dangote Free Zone, Dangote Refinery and the Pinnacle Oil and Gas.

“We are in active discussions with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders on the deployment of the call-up system for the Lekki area and we have confidence that the coming onboard of the call-up system for trucks will address any concerns that prospective port users would have over access to the port,” he said.

Beyond the road, he said that Lekki Port is also exploring the possibility of moving cargo by barges and has been able to execute more than five barge moves of over 900 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers (TEUs) from Lekki Port to the Ikorodu area of Lagos.

He commended the efforts of the Federal Government and Lagos State Government in constructing the roads, which he said has improved significantly.

On his part, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko who was represented by Ikechukwu Onyemakara, described Lekki Port as Nigerian project and assured that the NPA would do everything within it powers to grant necessary approvals and to provide marine services to the port.

Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Freeport Terminal, Yann Magarian, said Lekki Port would shape the maritime economy of the country and called on Nigerians to embrace and promote the port.


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