President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the Minister of Transportation, Honourable Rotimi Amaechi, on his commitment on the ongoing construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port.
The President while inspecting the level of work at the project site in Lagos, further directed the Minister to consult and bring up a memorandum to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in order to link the facility with the railway network.
The President was assured that the port, which has a concession period of 45 years and sits in a land area of 90 hectares, will be completed and delivered by September.
The Federal government has also revealed that efforts are currently ongoing to ensure that the Badagry seaport in Lagos gets approval to commence construction before May 2023.
Speaking to journalists after the inspection, the Minister of Transportation said it was a necessity for the government to utilise other ports in the country in order to avoid congestion in one port.
According to Amaechi “Ibaka and Badagry ports are private seaports, and I think Ibaka has gotten approval. We are fast-tracking that of Badagry so that they can also get their approval. By the time we leave office, all those ports will be approved”.
He further stated that “the only port that government may participate in its ownership is the Bonny seaport”.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari visited Lekki seaport after commissioning the Dangote fertilizer plant that is also located in Lekki, Lagos State.
Though the President did not stay long at the port, Amaechi said the news of Buhari’s visit increased the speed of work at the port.
“When I was making the case to the president on why he needed to come to the seaport, most people did not understand why. Do you see the huge difference between when we came two weeks ago and now?
“There are two reasons why I asked the president to come, the first one is to publicise the seaport so that they will know that this government is building a seaport and the first seaport in Nigeria. The other ports we have in Nigeria are all river ports because they tilt off the sea”.
“The second reason was to put the heat on them (constructors) and with that, we are almost ready. if not for the equipment, they can actually get this place ready before June but they said all the equipment are arriving by June and installation will take them till September and it can be commissioned by September.
“You see the miracle of bringing a president to this place. That is why Presidents must also inspect projects, that will hasten the process if there is money for completion,” he stated.
This is the first Deep Sea Port in Nigeria located in Lagos Free Zone, 65Km east of Lagos.