China Harbour Completes Construction Of $1.5bn Lekki Port, Hands Over Port To Concessionaire
… Sanwo-Olu Assures Speedy Completion of 6-Lanes Port Access Road
By DAPO OLAWUNI
China Habour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise (CHELE), a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor for Lekki Port, has announced the completion of the construction of the Port, even as it has handed it over to the concessionaire who will operate it; Lekki Free Port Terminal, a subsidiary of CMA/CGM group
This is even as the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-0lu has promised a speedy completion of the access roads leading to the Lekki Port, saying that all shanties along the road would be destroyed to pave way for a six lane port access road.
The Lekki Port is one of the biggest deep-sea port in West Africa.
Speaking during the construction completion ceremony held on Monday, October 31, 2022, at the Port located at Itoke Village, Ibeju Lekki, Mr. Wu Di, Vice President of CHEC who is also a director of Lekki Port disclosed that the construction of the Port was officially started on June 15, 2020, and was completed on Monday, October 24, 2022.
He revealed that the total contract value of the EPC for the project’s first phase is 581 million US dollars.
He added that the completion of the construction will now pave the way for the container terminal operator, the Lekki Free Port Terminal to take over the Port in readiness for the start of port operations.
While delivering his speech during the ceremony, the Governor of Lagos State, one of the shareholders of Lekki Port, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressed delight with the completion of the construction of the port. Sanwo-Olu reaffirmed Lagos State Government’s commitment to the timely delivery of the road infrastructure network around the Ibeju Lekki axis to ensure the seamless evacuation of cargo from the port.
Speaking he said “I want to use this opportunity to assure our private players on this project, and a commitment that Lagos State brings to bare in ensuring that this location is not just going to be a gridlock. You have seen that the construction of the road from Eleko Junction has continued towards Aka, I have also seen that that the construction from Eleko Junction down here is also ongoing.
“It is important for me to give you that further reassurance that we would stop at nothing, in pushing this road to completion as fast as possible.
“I am meeting with the contractors and giving them a matching order that the road construction that would evacuate all the containers from here does not constitute any gridlock whatsoever.
“I also want to mention to the host communities that all of the shanties that we need to clear along the right of way, we are turning this place to a six lane highway, so there are shanties we need to clear.
“We have continued to give them ample notice of the need to clear that road” he said
The Lagos Governor promised to work with investors to ensure the ease of doing business at the Lekki Deep Seaport.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Board of Directors, of Lekki Port, Mr. Biodun Dabiri, expressed profound appreciation to the promoters of the project, CHEC and Tolaram for the bold decision to invest in maritime infrastructure which will help in Nigeria’s journey to economic prosperity.
Dabiri acknowledged the critical role played by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in resolving the various challenges encountered in the construction of the port, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and attendant lockdown.
“We are pleased to celebrate the completion of construction of the port and the effective handover of the facilities by Lekki Port from the EPC Contractor, CHELE), a subsidiary of CHEC,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the General Project Manager of CHELE, Mr. Xie Xianju, expressed great delight that the construction was now completed. He noted that the Port would be the destination of choice because it is the first deep sea port with a capacity to take large vessels.
He commended the team, partners and suppliers for their contribution to the successful completion of the construction.
Delivering the goodwill message on behalf of Tolaram (promoter and shareholder), the Managing Director of Lagos Free Zone, Mr. Dinesh Rathi, expressed delight at the timely completion of the construction of the port.
He noted that the port would further position LFZ as the next frontier for investment in Nigeria and increase foreign direct investment to Lagos State and Nigeria.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Cui Jianchun commended CHEC for displaying excellence in their project skills and promoting China’s commitment to Africa’s infrastructure development drive. He noted that this project was a good example of what can be achieved when Nigeria and China cooperate and he looked forward to more of such projects.
Lekki Port has been described severally, as a game changer that will 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.
The date for the formal commissioning of the port is being awaited by the management of Lekki Port.