The Nigerian Ports Authority says the Lekki multi-purpose seaport is expected to generate more than 170,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians when completed.
The Lekki Deep Seaport was commissioned for operations by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 23, 2023.
The Managing Director, NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, disclosed this during their Special Day at the ongoing 34th Enugu International Trade Fair, organised by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture on Saturday in Enugu.
He said Lekki Deep Seaport is the deepest port in West Africa and would be a significant game-changer in Nigeria’s Maritime economy.
Bello-Koko, represented by the Principal Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communication, NPA, Lagos, said they would strive to be the leading port in Africa, a dream that can be realised through a collective commitment of trade development drivers.
He said: “We will continue to collaborate with our partners in the economic development of Nigeria and we consider ECCIMA as partners in the development of the Country.
“The Nigerian maritime industry is a prime economic driver, bearing in mind that 85 per cent volume of economic activities are delivered through the ports worldwide as Maritime transport remains the main gateway to the global marketplace.
“I am highly excited that ECCIMA has continued to provide platforms and opportunities fo Entrepreneurs to emerge and thrive.”
The Managing Director added that rail lines from the ports were being rehabilitated to ensure ease in the logistics chain.
Bello-Koko added: “At the NPA, the Lilypond Terminal provides exporters the much-needed infrastructure to carry out their transactions at a reduced cost and time, thereby increasing their competitiveness in the international market.
“This is done to encourage the exportation of more locally-made goods, a move to boost non-export in the country and to ease supply chain constraints for export cargoes.
“We will continually give priority consideration to exportation of agricultural produce and Solid Mineral Resources which will in turn give exportation a boost in the nation’s economy.”
Earlier, the President, Enugu Chamber of Commerce. Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Jasper Nduagwuike, while commending NPA for participating in the fair after few years of absence, said measures should be adopted to decongest ports across the country.
He stressed that a lot still needed to be done because importers, especially from the South East part of the country, were still experiencing undue delay and unwarranted bureaucracy in clearing their goods from ports like Onne and Port Harcourt.
Nduagwuike, represented by the First Deputy President, ECCIMA, Odega Jideonwu, added: “We don’t know when the apportioning of blames amongst operators in the sector would cease.
“They should evolve more pragmatic and proactive approaches in resolving these negating issues in the maritime sub sector which have continued to be clogs in the wheels of our progress and development.”
He, however, commended the strategic role and commitment of the parastatal and the central role it plays in the socio-economic lives of the people, particularly in the development and facilitation of commerce and industry.