Lekki Port to move cargoes to East via barges
The promoters of the Lekki Port and Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) have disclosed that discussions are ongoing to move containers discharged at the port by barges to the Eastern Ports of Calabar, Warri and Onitsha River Port among others to help increase the economies of those ports.
The promoters also stated that the $1.5 billion Lekki port would begin the transshipment of cargoes to landlock countries in the coming weeks.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, the Chief Commercial Officer of LFT, Kehinde Olubi-Neye, said the port has been able to execute the movement of more than five barges of over 900 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers from Lekki Port to the Ikorodu area of Lagos.
Olubi-Neye revealed that the company has so far invested $100 million in cargo handling equipment to fast-track cargo clearance and movements. He assured that the port has the technical capacity, draft and state-of-the-art equipment to recover transship cargoes bound for landlocked countries.
“We have been having volumes, we have been having import discharge and export of empty containers. We expect that we will start exporting full containers in the nearest future,” he said. He disclosed that trucks’ turnaround time at the terminal is about 40 minutes, while cargo clearance from the port can be processed between five to 10 days. He added that the port has completed a truck park that can accommodate 150 trucks.
Speaking also, the Chief Operating Officer of Lekki Port, Lawrence Smith, said there is a need to embrace and promote the port as it can create hundreds of thousands of jobs and generate billions of naira for the economy. He added that the company was conducting truck and driver registration to ensure seamless movement around the port vicinity.
On the evacuation of cargoes, he added that the Lekki Port operates an automated system that is linked to the automated gate with a vehicle booking system where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance.
He said this also supports the initiative of the Lagos State Government concerning the comprehensive call-up system for the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Port, Dangote Free Zone, Dangote Refinery and the Pinnacle Oil and Gas.
“We are in discussions with the Lagos State Ministry of Transport and other stakeholders on the deployment of the call-up system for the Lekki area and we have confident that the call-up system for trucks will address concerns of prospective port users will have over access to the port,” he said.
On his part, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, who was represented by the Manager, Public Affairs, Ikechukwu Onyemakara, assured that the agency would do everything within its powers to grant necessary approvals and provide marine services to the port.
Speaking also, the Zonal Administrator of the Nigeria Export Processing Authority (NEPZA), Garba Hayatu, assured the promoter of the seaport of necessary incentives, adding that all equipment was brought in duty-free.
He said having known the challenges of working in the Nigeria Customs Service territory, the free zone is an alternative for government to diversify trade facilitation.
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