The dream of Lekki Deep Seaport has finally become a reality as the first ship marked ZHEN HUA 28, berthed at the shore.
The vessel, ZHEN HUA 28, delivered three Ship to Shores and 10 Rubber Tyre Gantries cranes that will help in the evacuation of cargoes from vessels to the shore.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, has congratulated the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Ports Authority on the successful berthing of the first ship at Lekki Deep Seaport.
The president expressed his feelings in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Saturday in Abuja.
He also congratulated all stakeholders in the maritime sector over the feat.
Buhari recalled that his approval of four new seaports in the country, including the Lekki Deep Seaport, was hinged on growing the economy.
According to him, the decision was also aimed at creating massive job opportunities, foreign investment inflows and trade facilitation.
He commended the staff and management in the nation’s maritime sector who were working round the clock to make the operationalisation of Lekki Deep Sea port before the end of the year a reality.
The president reassured them of his commitment to sustain investments in these new assets.
According to president, “the nation’s maritime and aquatic resources are critical to the livelihoods of Nigerians and Government will spare no effort in successfully harnessing the potential of the sector.”
Earlier, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA),Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the arrival of the first ship represents a major step toward birthing Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport.
“For us at the NPA, the coming on stream of Lekki Deep Sea Port symbolises 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 will commence immediately the transport ministry and FEC approve.”
He noted that automation remained the most veritable tool for assuring port efficiency.
“As most of us are aware, the NPA is working assiduously under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organization to deploy the Port Community System which will enable us respond squarely to the dictates of global trade facilitation and optimise the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement to which Nigeria is signatory.
“Our strategic intent of becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable ports services in Africa rests heavily on how well we are able to deepen our efficiencies through a construction of deep seaports in order to leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale.”