Nigerian Ports Authority Records First Ship Berth at Lekki Seaport

By David Adekunle, Lagos

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The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has received Three Ship-to-Shore, STS, and 10 Rubber-Tyred Gantries, RTG, cranes critical to the commencement of operations of the $1.5bn Lekki Deep Seaport.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko described the successful delivery of the three STS and the RTG cranes as a major step towards berthing Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport.

He said; “It demonstrates Nigeria’s readiness to take trade facilitation a notch higher.

“The vessel, ZHEN HUA 28, which berthed at exactly 1329 hours, delivered three Ship to Shores (STS) and 10 Rubber Tyre Gantries (RTG) cranes that will help in the evacuation of cargoes from vessels to the shore.”

First automated port

Bello-Koko, said Lekki Port, when it begins operation in September, would be the first fully automated port at take-off in Nigeria.

He said; “The commitment of NPA to providing every support necessary to place Nigeria on the global list of countries with Deep Seaports is unflinching. This is why matters related to the operationalisation of Lekki Deep Seaport before the end of this year have been placed on top priority.”

“For us at the Nigerian Ports Authority the coming on stream of Lekki Deep Sea Port symbolises a lot. Apart from being Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport, Lekki Port will also be the first fully automated port at take-off. This provides an insight into the path we are already toeing as a management team to govern the operationalisation of not just the forthcoming Badagry, Ibom and Bonny Deep Seaports, but also of the reconstruction of the aged Tin-Can Port, where work is set to commence once we secure the necessary approvals from the Federal Ministry of Transportation and FEC respectively,” Bello-Koko explained.

The NPA boss however, stated that the authority working working assiduously under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organisation to deploy the Port Community System (PCS), which will make Nigeria optimise opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement to which Nigeria is signatory.

Bello-Koko said; “Let me reiterate that automation remains the most veritable tool for assuring Port efficiency.

“Our strategic intent of becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable ports services in Africa rests heavily on how well we are able deepen our efficiencies through a construction of deep seaports, to leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale.

“Let me seize this moment to specially appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of Transportation for the tremendous backing the NPA has enjoyed leading to this historic exercise.”

The Chairman, Lekki Port, Abiodun Dabiri stated that the port would become operational before the end of the year and delivery of the evacuation equipment would make Nigeria a shipping hub in West and Central Africa.

Dabiri said further that aside from Lekki Deep Seaport, no other seaport in Nigeria can receive the 14m deep vessels that brought the crane into the country.

He said; “Today’s event, will deliver Nigeria as a regional hub for maritime business. The vessel came with major cranes that will help the port operate optimally. 

“When the port becomes operational, it will add value to people’s life, diversification of foreign exchange and turn around the nation’s maritime business.”

 

 

Mercy Chukwudiebere

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