The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has directed its legal department to put on paper an agreement with the Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Ltd., to ensure 2022 as an operational year of the port.
Amaechi gave the directive during a monitoring visit to the Lekki Deep Sea Port Project on Sunday in Lagos.
The Lekki Deep Sea Port project is Nigeria’s Deepest Sea Port in the making in the heart of the Lagos Free Trade Zone.
According to him, the agreement to commission the port in 2022 took place in Singapore and wondered why the construction company was stating 2023.
BizWatch Nigeria recalls in 2018, that the federal government had pledged its total support to the management of Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise towards the actualisation of the $1.5billion Lekki Deep Sea Port project.
BizWatch also reported that President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Lagos on March 29, 2018, stating that the Federal Government would give the needed support to the project.
Amaechi said that though they have had hitches including the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, it was important that the project becomes operational by 2022.
“The contract for the facility was launched in March 2018, and as a layman, my views might not matter, however, we must tie them to a written agreement that it must be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022.
“There are so many things tied to port construction and many factors that can work against that date like force majeure issues or if anything goes wrong with the contractor.
“That is why we need to tie them to a verbal and written agreement that by 2022, Lekki port must become operational,” the minister said.
He also said that with Lekki, Bonny and Ibom deep seaport, all are expected to come upstream very soon, adding that the issue of too many river ports with shallow draft would become a thing of the past in Nigeria’s maritime sector.
‘Amaechi, however, declined to speak on the Lekki Port being connected by rail by 2022, ” I am not the Minister of Works, neither am I the Lagos State Government, so whether there will be rail connection to Lekki port by 2022 is not what I can talk on,” he said.
The port is poised to be the most modern in West Africa, offering critical support to burgeoning commercial operation in Lagos state, across Nigeria and the entire West African region.
Presently, the port has a 35 per cent progress across the project construction.