The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has expressed optimism that the Lekki Deep Seaport has the tendency to turn the nation into a shipping hub, boost the economy, and create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the country.
The minister who described the Lekki Deep Seaport as a game changer in the Maritime Sector added that, the project would generate over 200 times the cost of its investment.
The Minister made the remarks on Wednesday in Lekki, when he was accompanied by heads of parastatals under the Ministry of Transportation, on a Media Tour of the Lekki Deep Seaport.
According to the minister, “the investment in the seaport is worth 1.53 billion dollars on fixed assets and 800 million dollars on construction while the aggregate impact has been put at 361 billion dollars in 45 years, an amount which is over 200 times the cost of building it”.
He added “the investment in addition to the financial returns it would generate, will create 169,972 jobs and bring revenues totalling 201 billion dollars to state and federal governments through taxes, royalties and duties.
“I called it a game changer because of the impact it will have on the nation’s economy and the jobs it will create, among others”.
The Minister noted that Nigeria would utilize the Lekki Deep Seaport as an avenue to regain the maritime business that was lost to ports in Togo, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, stressing that it is also a big boost to Nigeria in its quest to take advantage of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“A major advantage we have to leverage is transshipment. With this port, Nigeria will become a transshipment hub and the revenue we are currently losing to our neighboring countries will come here”, he said.
Lai Mohammed however commended the shareholders of the Lekki Deep Seaport for deploying first class equipment for its operations, listing some of such equipment as 7 Ship-To-Shore cranes and 21 Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) cranes
He said the provision of modern equipment is why the port can do 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu), which is more than four times the number that can currently be handled by the other ports in the country.
The Minister said the project is self sufficient in required electricity as it is now ready to generate up to 10 Mega Watts, in addition to an installed capacity of 16 mega watts.