The modern Lekki deep seaport has been commissioned today Monday, January 23rd, 2023 by President Mohammad Buhari, after the port had undergone about two years of construction, which officially commenced on June 15th 2020.
The President also handed over the port to Tolarams Group for 45 years. The seaport constructed by China Harbour Engineering Lekki Free Trade Zone LFTZ Enterprises (CHELE), a subsidiary of China Harbour Engineering Company, was billed to be completed by October 2022.
It is believed to be the deepest in Nigeria and one of the deepest in West Africa with a draft depth of 16.2 metres in-depth and annual cargo tonnage of four million tons and an annual container volume of 2.5 million TEU.
However, prior to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commissioning of the deep seaport, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) berthed a CMA-CGM container vessel to the port. The vessel is reputed to be one of the largest container vessels in the world which is about 400 metres long and could carry up to 20,000 containers.
The port is also expected to be connected to an $800m railway which is expected to be built to evacuate containers from the port.
It was gathered that private funders will bankroll the railway project while the seaport will eventually be handed back to the Federal government for ownership after the private developers have exhausted their rights to the place. This would increase the revenue base of Nigeria and Lagos. The facility was constructed by the Tolarams Group.
The port was constructed on Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis for 45 years before it would be transferred to the federal government through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) after the funders must have recouped their investments.