AfCFTA: Nigeria to open West Africa’s deepest Sea Port as it targets Regional Trade

Nigeria’s Lekki Deep Sea Port is anticipated to be West Africa’s deepest Sea Port which will become a grand central hub for the African region. This newest development was made known by Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. 

Upon completion, the seaport is expected to be a boosting factor for the country in the area of maritime after it has lost numerous businesses to ports in Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire. 

Nigeria’s information minister on an official visit to the site had clearly stated that the opening of the Lekki seaport will be highly advantageous to Africa’s most populous nation as it implements the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The new seaport in his words is going to be a “game-changer” in the economy of Nigeria as its effect will be highly positive in driving the nation to a higher level of growth and development.
With the availability of 21 RTG cranes and seven ships to shore cranes, the seaport which is expected to kick off operation towards the end of the year 2022 is estimated to garner lots of resources to Nigeria which include, duties, about $201 billion in taxes as well royalties. 
According to estimation, the Deep Sea Port which has gotten to 89% completion level is expected to derive about $361 billion in the next 45 years. The derivation will far surpass the cost procured in building it which is approximately 200 times over. 

According to Alhaji Lai Muhammed, “The investment is huge – $1.53 billion on fixed assets and $800 million dollars on construction. In addition, it will create 169,972 jobs and bring revenues totaling $201 billion to state and federal governments through taxes, royalties, and duties.

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“The direct and induced business revenue impact is estimated at $158 billion in addition to a qualitative impact on manufacturing, trade and commercial services sector.”

One of the many anticipated advantages expected to be seen after the completion will include making Nigeria a transshipment hub in West Africa resulting in massive revenue.

In describing the quality of the seaport as first-class, the minister said, “No port in Nigeria currently has this. The excellent equipment is why this port can do 18,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (teu), which is more than four times the number that can currently be handled by our other ports.” 

In concordance with the minister’s speech, the Managing Director of Lekki Deep Sea Port, Du Ruogang also stated that Nigeria and the entire region of West Africa would experience an economic turnaround.  
In order not to create a replica of the problem of congestion on other ports like Tincan Island and Apapa, there are already modalities on ground for cargo evacuation from the port.

It is noteworthy that the port is located in the same area as the Dangote fertilizer plant as well as Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals.

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