Nigeria is set to construct a new deep seaport and two additional facilities in bid to ease congestion in the main harbors of the commercial capital, Lagos, which currently handle about 80% of all shipping traffic.
According to Nigerian Ports Authority Managing Director Hadiza Bala Usman, a new facility is already under construction in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos through a public-private partnership. One of the two new facilities may be built be built in the Badagry area of the city, near the border with Benin while the the other ‘Ibom seaport, is under consideration in the oil-rich Niger delta.
“The ports of Lagos – known as the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports – serve as hubs for cargo transiting through Africa’s most populous nation, but inefficiency and congested roads to the ports mean daily queues of hundreds of trucks. We have congestion because 80% of our cargo goes on the road.The government wants to focus on improving the nearby roads and other infrastructure to ease the transportation of goods including cars, computers, food and machinery,” said Usman.
New sea port
The new sea port development will cost US $1.5bn. It will feature three container berths, one dry bulk berth and three liquid berths. It would be capable of handling up to 2.7 million TEUs on an annual basis.
China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), the engineering and construction arm of China Construction and Communication Company (CCCC), is the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor for the Port (through China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise); while Louis Berger Group, USA, one of the largest multi-disciplinary infrastructure consulting firm in the world is the Project Management Consultant (PMC) will be in charge of supervising the construction of the port.
Port developers are also expected to undertake dredging of the port channel to a depth of about 16 meters in an effort to accommodate larger ships. The development is expected to be complete in 2020.
The Ministry of Transport is additionally building a new railway to the Lagos ports to speed up the evacuation of cargo after the National Cashew Association of Nigeria to raise the alarm last month over shipments delays that costed goods worth US $300m stuck in containers on trucks waiting to enter the ports. Similar concerns were also raised by the nation’s cocoa exporters.
“For now, trailer parks are being built to take trucks off the road and barges have been deployed to move cargo on inland waterways,” said Usman.
With the construction the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Nigeria would be able to maintain its position as a leading maritime hub In the West Africa and Gulf of Guinea Maritime Domain.