The multi-billion Lekki Seaport project, which is slated to start in July this year, has received a boost of US$118m from the Federal Government. This was revealed by the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdullahi.
The amount will add in to the support of the project by the African Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Standard Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Diamond Chartered Bank and African Finance Corporation (AFC) in terms of funding. Tolaram Group is the major sponsor for the project and has promised full completion. Lekki Seaport project’s, Mr. Haresh Aswani, has said the completion timeline expected is 40 months. He said private investors would build their industries knowing of the port development.
The Lekki Seaport project is a joint venture between the Lagos State Government and a Singaporean investor, Tolaram Group aiming at easing the present congestion in Nigerian premier port, Apapa Quay, Lagos. Roads to facilitate cargo evacuation will also be built and developers have gotten approval for new road construction according to Aswani. He said they had done road study together with Lagos state Government and that the core investor was working with the government on a master plan.
The Lekki Deep Seaport project will also provide job opportunities. Nigeria has also planned construction of other seaports projects – Badagry deep seaport, Olokonla port in Ogun state, Ogidigben port in Delta state, and the Ibom deep seaport in Akwa Ibom State and completion of Lekki will be inspirational to the projects, according to the NPA MD.
“The total amount of the federal government’s stake in this project is $118 million. What we had as at last year was US$5.04m and we have already paid that. We have already started making payments on this because there was an allegation that the government has not started making payments. That is totally wrong. We have already paid our own dues as at last year. For the year 2015, we have made enough provision to pay up the remaining amount that is due to us. It is still with the government but we have already made an agreement with them and we will pay it up by the end of the year,” MD Abdullahi added.
The Lekki port development project falls under the Greenfield ports development programme, in which other projects have been proposed for Warri, Delta; Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State; Agge, Bayelsa State, and Bagary.