On Monday afternoon, President Muhammadu Buhari officially commissioned the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport for commercial operations in Lagos.
The port is adjudged the most modern and deepest seaport in West Africa, offering critical support to burgeoning commercial operations in Lagos State, across Nigeria and the entire West African region.
During the commissioning, outgoing President Buhari stated the project is in line with his Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) emphasis in supporting game-changing infrastructure projects directed at making an impact on trade and commerce.
The state-of-the-art facility, which is arguably the largest seaport in West Africa, will modernize the way goods are transported and traded in Nigeria, improving efficiency and connectivity and serving as a major driver for economic growth in the region.
The Lekki Deep Seaport received a boost ahead of its commissioning as the largest container vessel, the CMA-CGM, owned and operated by a French shipping firm, berthed at the port.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) announced the arrival of the vessel on their official Twitter handle, noting that it was a testament to the readiness of the NPA to offer marine services for seamless port operations.
The Lekki Deep Seaport boasts an impressive array of features, including a main breakwater that is 1.5 km long with a turning circle of 600 metres, able to accommodate vessels up to 16,000 standard containers, and an approach channel of 11 km long. The port also has three terminals: the container terminal, the liquid terminal, and the dry bulk terminal.
The container terminal has an initial draft of 14 metres, with the potential for further dredging to 16.5 metres, and can handle 2.5 million twenty-foot standard containers per year.
The Lekki Deep Seaport is the first in Africa’s largest economy with ship-t0-shore cranes, known as ‘Super-post-Panamax’ cranes, with the capacity to reach and offload the rearmost row of containers even if the container ship is wider than the Panama Canal which is 49m or 160ft maximum boat beam.
The Lekki Deep Seaport's computerised system allows for container identification and clearance from the office, minimising human interaction in physical operations.
When the Phase 2 is completed, the deep sea port will have three liquid berths. The liquid cargo terminal will handle vessels up to 45,000 DWT (dead weight tonnage) and can expand to reach a capacity of 160,000 DWT. The bulk terminal has a quay length of 300m and can accommodate a Panamax class vessel (75,000 DWT).
The retired Major General also took advantage of the commissioning of the magnificent sea port to drum up support for the ruling party All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.