Emergence of $1.5bn Lekki Port Will Not Lead to Death of Apapa, Tin Can Ports, others – NPA

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NPA MD, Bello Koko

 

By Shola Fadeyi

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that the fear in certain quarters in  the maritime sector and the economy,  that the emergence of the Lekki Deep Seaport will markedly reduce the patronage of the Apapa, Tin Can and other Seaports in Nigeria is a mirage .

Its  Managing Director,      Mohammed Bello Koko cleared the air on the issue in a paper delivered on his behalf by the AGM Operations of the NPA, Mr Ayo Durowaiye at a Retreat  titled , Lekki Deep  Seaport : Identifying the gains, challenges and threats to the Lagos Ports’ ,organized by the League of Maritime Editors , at the Airport Hotel    in Lagos on December 8, 2022.

He said the  morbid fear by stakeholders that the emergence of Lekki Deep-sea Ports may signal the  death  or  possibly  turn  the  existing  ports  in Lagos  area  to  tourist  site  is  simply  a  fallacy.

According to him , since  the Lekki  Deep-sea port will  operate by the  principle of ‘Hub and Spoke’. as a derivative to this, the existing Apapa, Tin Can and others  will simply  function  as    Feeder  Ports

Explaining, he said  when  big vessels call at Lekki, Port , other ports would be fed with their own market share, as such they  would  function  as  regional  port  to  serve destination cargo of their catchment areas

Enumerating the gains of the Lekki Deep Seaport , Bello Koko stated that with the level of preparedness for the take-off of the Port  , its  commencement of commercial operations in Q1 2023 would be a game changer in port operations, not only in Nigeria ,but West Africa sub-region.

He said this is because of  its remarkable   key features which include , Berth Depth of 16.5m – the deepest in the West African  sub-region, the hosting of post-panamax vessels and deployment  of  the  state-of-the-art  modern  cargo-handling equipment  .

The NPA Managing Director, stated that   the exceptional facilities of the Lekki Port  include six  Ship-to-Shore  Gantry  Cranes  with  a reach of 21 Containers and twin-lift capabilities and  deployment  of  modern  cargo  scanners  to  entrench  trade facilitation ideals among others.

The implication , he pointed out is that the Port’s  level of efficiency would be very high , with the hosting of post-Panamax vessel, adding that  the cost per Container Box would thus  be very low, compared with the existing Ports in Lagos, thereby leveraging on economies of scale.

Bello Koko disclosed that  Liners would be encouraged to use Lekki Port as they seek to minimize operational costs to maximize their profits.

 

According to him, Lekki Port would be positioned to function as Hub for Container traffic both in the sub-region and for LPC and TCIP which will eventually be hosting feeder vessels for Container traffic coming to Lagos areas.

 

He  explained that the  expected Cargo Throughput in Lekki Port would thus be very  high given its role as a hub which comes with double handling operations.  while there would be reduction in the cost of doing business, owing to benefit of economies of scale accruable.

 

The  NPA MD said that the Nigerian port system would ultimately be mainstreamed into global port system given the competitive advantage it offers.

The event was chaired by  Mrs Chinwe Ezenwa a former Director of the Federal  Ministry of Transportation and former MD, of the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) while the Coordinator of the Zone ‘A’ of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS)   Assistant Comptroller General (ACG)  Aremu   represented  the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali at the event.

 

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) , Dr Bashir Jamoh was represented by the agency’s  Director of  Special Duties,  Mr Isichei Osamgbi while Dr Bolaji Akinola stood in for  the Chairman of the Seaports Terminals Operators Association of Nigeria  STOAN)    .

 

The Acting Controller of the FOU , Zone ‘ A’ of the Customs, DC Kehinde Ejibunu  , the Controller, of the Apapa Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf , the Coordinator of the CG Strike Force ,Muhammed Yusuf   and the Controller of Customs Zone B, Comptroller   Al- Bashir Hamisu , the Minister of Transportation, Alhaji Muazu Sambo, Jamoh , Bello Koko  Ejibunu , Hamisu  and Yusuf  among others were given awards for their sterling performance in their areas of jurisdictions.