Lekki Deep Seaport To Boost Economy With $360bn - Amaechi - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Sunday, March 13, 2022

Lekki Deep Seaport To Boost Economy With $360bn - Amaechi

                  •Amaechi (left)

| The Daily Crucible | Sunday, March 13, 2022

The Federal Government on Sunday
said the Nigerian economy will experience a boost of about $360bn from the Lekki deep seaport in 45 years when the project is completed.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this in Lagos, after inspecting ongoing work at the privately funded project site on Sunday.

 Amaechi noted that the gestation period is expected to enable  investors recoup their money and afterwards, handover the seaport to the federal government.

He also emphasized on the need to expand the seaport, make it spacious enough to deal with expected rise in economic activities in the future.

“The project will contribute about $360 billion over the years. It sounds much, but we actually need more of that money to accomplish what we want to achieve.

“But obviously taxes will be collected here and even them (contractors) will pay taxes. I am not sure there was any taxes mentioned in the agreement, but I doubt there is any tax exemption.

“So, we will collect taxes here, the confidence in giving them the project is because of the taxes that we will collect here that will help us in the construction of other projects,” Amaechi said.

“It also depends on how much the economy will grow before then. The growth of the economy will put pressure on the expansion. The argument we had in cabinet is that the need for a deep seaport at Lekki was as a result of the fact that the demand for port activities in the country has exceeded the supply of Tincan and Apapa around Lagos.

“This is the first seaport in Nigeria. What we had all these while are river ports , Tincan is a river port, Apapa is a river port and port Harcourt too. Right here, you have 16.5 metres drafts which is good for the country, but the country needs more than just one of this port because of the increase in commercial activities in the future.

“We need just more than Lagos deep seaport and for me before I leave office, I will emphasize on the construction of the Bonny deep seaport,” Amaechi said.

The minister expressed his willingness to connect the Lekki deep seaport to a rail line, lamenting however that paucity of funds have continued to pose a challenge.

“As Minister of Transportation, I imagine a lot of things that I could have implemented. I imagined that the Lagos-Calabar rail line would start from here, that was my imagination. But the Lagos-Calabar rail project needs $11.1 billion funding”, adding that there were no such funds at the moment for the project.

“Another advice I could give is if they (contractors) want to invest, they can invest in rail and then the government will either do tax reduction or do something to help them.

“If we get the $11.1billion as it is, we would probably have to divert the rail line, because Lagos-Calabar rail line actually goes into Lagos city. We can divert it to come to the seaport in Lekki,” he added.

He expressed optimism that the project would be ready for commercial activities in September this year.

China Development Bank, Louis Berger International, China Harbour Engineering LFTZ Enterprise and China Communication Construction are the contractors handling the project.

And later, Amaechi through the ministry’s social media account, stated that commercial activities at the Lekki Deep Sea Port would commence in third quarter of the year after the completion of work .

He explained that the expected equipment for completion of the port is due to arrive in June and commercial operations would start in September with an expected revenue of $360 billion Dollars annually. The tweet reads,

“Lekki Deep Seaport inspection held today. The port management assured the HMT that the Cranes would arrive in June and commercial activities at the Lekki Port would commence in September. The Port is estimated to contribute about $360b to Nigeria’s economy,” the ministry's social media account reads.

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