By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos reached 96 per cent completion, residents of Lekki environs can now ease a sigh of relief as the Lagos State Government has reportedly commenced construction of the access road leading to the port.
The residents have earlier expressed fears that not less than 3,000 trucks would be visiting the port area, thereby causing chaos on the roads.
Between September and December 2022, the Lekki Deep Seaport is expected to commence pilot operations.
DAILY TREND NEWS investigations last week confirmed that the Lagos State Government have already mobilised Messrs Hitech Construction Company Ltd to the construction site
in conjunction with Dangote Construction company.
The project is a 8.75-kilometre road, comprising of a 500-metre bridge, 251-metre interchange, 50-metre bicycle lane and an adjoining 500-metre road.
Even though the amount the road was awarded was not clear as at time of this report, a reliable source close to the Lekki port project construction confirmed that the project called ‘Lekki Regional Road’ is expected to decongest traffic within the Lekki sub-region as work progresses on the project.
The road project will create access to Victoria Garden City, Ikate Elegushi, Ikota, Chevron Drive, Ajiran, Pinnock Beach Estate, Gracefield Island and Orange Island while serving as an alternative to the Eti-Osa-Epe Expressway.
He said “The HITEC have already been mobilised and have started construction of the roads leading to the Lekki Deep Seaport, the construction company is already on site. Dangote and Hitec are partnering together on the construction”
“The evacuation plan of the Lekki Port is majorly by Road, Rail and Barges. For now, the port is kickstarting with the road”
Our correspondent equally learnt that promoters of the Lekki Port already have a designed rail network within the free zone.
However, there is supposed to be a nearby rail station built by the Federal Government that it would connect to but this has not been done by the government.
The reliable source stated that “it all lies with the Federal government, if there is a close-by railway station, it is easy to achieve. The Federal government is expected to act on it”
The container terminal inside the port is expected to have a 1,200 meter long quay, three container berths and a storage yard with more than 15,000 ground slots.
The breakwaters is 2,000 meters (2km) while the depth of the port is already 16.5 meters.
The port is kicking off with three STS (Ship to Shore) cranes, while RTG (Rubber Tired Gantry) is going to be fifteen.
It would be the first port to own the STS crane in Nigeria.
Already, apart from Lekki Port, and the Dangote Refinery, there is a petroleum depot, Pinnacle, which has ready commenced operations at the axis.
Meanwhile, the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Micheal Ohiani has expressed satisfaction with the progress of work done so far at the Lekki Port.
Ohiani said in an interview at the weekend that the Nigeria Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), had projected that within the next 30 years, the nation would require 3.1 trillion dollars to build infrastructure which translates to 100 billion dollars annually.
“The Federal Government cannot do this alone, so you have to leverage on private sector investment.
“Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects are therefore, designed to bridge this infrastructure gap, including the Lekki deep seaport, which will become operational in the second quarter of this year.
“We also have the Onitsha River port that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved about a fortnight ago.
“We have the Lokoja-Baro port. We also have the Kano-Kaduna standard guage line currently under construction.