The management of the Lekki Deep Seaport has said that the port will serve as a trans-shipment port for cargoes going to eastern ports.
The Chief Commercial Officer of Lekki Freeport Terminal, Kehinde Olubi-Neye, said this while addressing journalists during a recent tour of the port facility.
Olubi-Neye also said that the port will work towards recovering the country transship cargo loss to other neighbouring West African countries.
According to him, the new port, which has invested close to $100m in the acquisition of terminal and cargo handling equipment, has the needed equipment and the draft to recover transship cargo bound for landlocked neighbouring countries.
Olubi-Neye added that the management of the Lekki Freeport Terminal had engaged stakeholders, including Nigeria Customs Service, among others.
He expressed confidence that the firm will recover transshipment cargo not just for the hinterland but also for landlocked countries and other regional countries.
“The port will also play a role in the uptake of cargo in the eastern ports, which is why they are currently having discussions on moving containers discharged at Lekki port by barge to the eastern ports of Calabar, Warri, and Onitsha River Port among others to help increase the economy of those ports.”
On cargo evacuation from the port, Olubi-Neye said Lekki Port operated an automated system that was linked to the automated gate with the vehicle booking system where truck drivers were required to book appointments in advance.
“This also supports the initiative of the Lagos State Government in regard to the comprehensive call-up system for the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Port, Dangote Free Zone, Dangote Refinery and the Pinnacle Oil and Gas. We are in active discuss, andions with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders on the deployment of the call-up system for the Lekki area and we have confidence that the coming onboard of the call-up system for trucks will address any concerns that prospective port users would have over access to the port,” he said.
He said that Lekki port was also exploring the possibility of moving cargo by barges and had been able to execute more than five barge movements of over 900 twenty-foot equivalent units of containers from Lekki port to the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
He further disclosed that the port had completed a truck park very close to the port that had the capacity to accommodate 150 trucks.
He commended the efforts of the Federal Government and Lagos State Government in constructing the roads, which he said had improved significantly.
On his part, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, represented by Ikechukwu Onyemakara, described Lekki Port as Nigerian project and assured that the NPA would do everything within it powers to grant necessary approvals and to provide marine services to the port.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Lekki Freeport Terminal, Yann Magarian, said the port would shape the maritime economy of the country.
Magarian called on Nigerians to embrace and promote the port, noting that the port was fully automated to eliminate human contacts and well-equipped with world-class equipment.
“This port can do a lot for Nigeria in terms of revenue and job creation,’’ he said.