President Muhammadu Buhari has performed the historic inauguration on Monday of the Lekki Deep Sea Port located in Itoke village, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, observing the offloading from CMA CGM Mozart at the Quay.
The project with an investment in excess of $1.5 billion is a Joint Venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Ports Authority, Lagos State Government, the Tolarams Group (the owner of the Lagos Free Zone), and China Harbour Engineering Company.
At the ceremony, the President, according to a release by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, led Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Sambo; the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ciu Jianchun; top government officials and traditional rulers; to witness the overloading from the Container Ship, sailing under the flag of Malta.
Speaking at the occasion, the Lagos Governor said: ”Mr President, we are happy this is happening in your time. It all started in your time and it’s been completed in your time.
”We are excited that the size of the vessels that will berth at the port would be four times the size of vessels that currently berth at Apapa and Tin Can Island Port.
”We are excited that in your own time, something fresh has been birthed in this country and it is going to generate thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”
Managing Director, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, recalled when the construction of the port began in June, 2020, with the flag-off by Mr. President, very few Nigerians believed that it would become a reality, especially with the challenges of COVID 19 ravaging the country and the entire world at that period.
”Therefore, we should all be proud as Nigerians that this has not only become a reality, but a Free Zone has built and completed the largest sea port within four years which will reposition Nigeria as a regional hub globally for maritime business.”
He pledged that NEPZA would continue to give Lagos Free Zone, and indeed, all free zones licensed under it, the institutional support required to sustain this project and all other projects being conceptualized in the free zones.
“‘We are ready to lead in partnering with agencies at National and Sub-National levels, and the private sector to provide the needed support for this investment to thrive.
”Particularly, we will partner with the Nigeria Custom Service to perform its role effectively in order to achieve the objective of making this project stand as a testament to the legacy of President Muhammadu Buhari.
”We must not allow the momentum generated by the commissioning today to wane. All hands must be on deck to sustain this reality, ” the head of Nigeria’s free zone regulatory authority said.
At the Bestaf Lubricant plant owned by Sayyu Dantata, the founder and CEO of MRS Holdings Limited said the plant, which has the capacity of producing 1,700 different products, will contribute to foreign exchange generation for the country, through products export, as well as meet the needs of other neighbouring countries.
The 200m litre lubricant plant, which covers the whole value chain of lubricants, is the first of its kind in West Africa.
The President also on Monday inaugurated the Imota Rice Mill, conceptualized and completed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
On Tuesday, the President will inaugurate the historic first Phase of the Blue Line of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit in Marina and the John Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History at Onikan roundabout.