…As Construction Nears 50% Completion
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited has received the sum of US$60million, which is the first instalment of the US$629Million loan facility from China Development Bank for the construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port.
The US$629Million loan facility Agreement with China Development Bank was signed in Lagos, Nigeria in 2019 to provide the funding for the deepest seaport in the sub-Saharan African region.
The Managing Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited, Du Ruogang, disclosed this while briefing the delegation of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and other stakeholders during the ministry’s first quarterly monitoring visit to the project site on Saturday May 1, 2021.
Ruogang stated that the first instalment of the loan facility was received on Thursday April 29, 2021 as the company had satisfied all the conditions precedent for the release of the funds. He expressed appreciation to the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority for all the support in this regard.
He stated that receipt of the first instalment of the loan facility is a major breakthrough in the quest to deliver a world-class deep seaport and to ensure that commercial operations commence before the end of 2022.
Meanwhile, the core of main breakwater of the deep-sea Port project has been ompleted.
Construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port has reached almost 50 percent with the completion of the 1,909m long core of the main breakwater while work on the quay wall and landside infrastructure has reached advanced stages.
This significant milestone of the completion of the core of the main breakwater was achieved on Thursday, April 29, 2021.
The Managing Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited, Mr. Du Ruogang, disclosed this while briefing the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani and other key stakeholders in the project including the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman; the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh and the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello during the first quarterly monitoring visit by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to the project site on Saturday, May 1, 2021.
Ruogang assured that the construction would be completed as scheduled with a targeted commercial operations date in Q4 2022. He affirmed that the container terminal operator – Lekki Freeport Terminal, a subsidiary of CGM/CMA is ready to commence operations once the construction is completed.
“We would like to appreciate the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Government, and NPA as well as other stakeholders for the immense support towards the actualization of this world-class seaport”, he said.
Speaking during the visit, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani stated that it was heart-warming to note that the project is moving at a fast pace, assuring all the promoters and stakeholders that the Federal Government would play its part to ensure the smooth take-off of the Port come the last quarter of 2022.
Ajani noted that the progress of work since the initial visit of the ministry in November 2020, is impressive and that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation would work out modalities of rail connectivity to the port for easy evacuation and transfer of cargo to the different parts of the country.
She also promised to liaise with her counterpart at the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on the issue of the road network at the corridor to prevent the issue of congestion.
The importance of the railway connectivity was also reiterated by Dr. Jamoh, DG/CEO of NIMASA.
In her own remarks during the visit, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman said that NPA will play its part to ensure that the timeline set for the delivery is achieved, adding that efforts are being made to facilitate the deployment of all necessary infrastructure needed before commercial operations begin.
“To meet the timeline for the Port, we would deploy the control tower as well as the BTS and GDMS which are critical infrastructure needed for the take-off of the port operations. In addition, we have to begin the construction of the administrative block”, Usman said.
The Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, NSC, Hassan Bello reaffirmed the significance of Lekki Port to the economic prosperity of Nigeria noting that when completed, the port would be transformational for the country, and indeed the West African maritime landscape.