The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), on Friday, received the first-ever vessel Zhen Hua 28 at the seaport. This is coming head of the commencement of commercial operation at the $1.5Billion Lekki Deep Seaport in September this year.
The vessel berthed at exactly 1329hours, 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.
With an annual cargo tonnage of four million tons per year and container volume of 2.5million TEUs, the seaport with three container berths is equipped to handle more than 1.8 million TEUs annually.
While addressing the public, managing director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said Lekki Port, when it commences operations, will be the first fully automated port at take-off in Nigeria.
He further stated that the successful delivery of the three STS and the RTG cranes was critical to the commencement of operations of the deep seaport.
He said, “the successful delivery of these three state-of-the art STS cranes and 10 RTG, are very important equipment which are critical to the commencement of operations of the Lekki Deep Seaport. This is historic as it moves us a step closer to birthing Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport and also demonstrates our readiness to take trade facilitation a notch higher.
“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 symbolizes a lot of positives. 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 reiterated that the Authority was working diligently 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 a signatory.
Speaking earlier, chairman, Lekki Port, Abiodun Dabiri stated that the port will become operational before the end of the year. He said that the delivery of the evacuation equipment, will make Nigeria a shipping hub in West and Central Africa.
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