The container terminal operator for the Lekki Deep Sea Port- Lekki Freeport Terminal, a subsidiary of the CMA/CGM Group, has assured shippers of a faster turnaround time for the clearance of cargoes from the port, stating that it will take between 5 to 10 days which is fastest compared what is currently obtainable in existing ports across the country.
The Chief Commercial Officer, Lekki Freeport Terminal, Mr. Kehinde Olubi-Neye, disclosed this during a joint media parley by the management of Lekki Deep Sea Port- Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) and the terminal operator-Lekki Freeport Terminal (LFT) at the Port on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.
Olubi-Neye explained that the project’s promoters have made significant investments in the automation of the processes to ensure that the needless delays associated with existing ports are drastically reduced.
According to him, the automation process at the Port is linked to the automated gate to allow for a vehicle booking system where truck drivers are required to book appointments in advance.
He revealed that the Port has completed the construction of a Truck Park with the capacity to accommodate 150 trucks at a time.He hinted further that Lekki Port is presently exploring the option of barge operation as means of evacuation of cargo from the port.
“We have executed significant barge moves between Ikorodu and Kirikiri. We have done over five barge moves totalling 900 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units of containers (TEUs). We also believe this would allow Lekki Port to play a role in cargo uptake using Eastern ports of Calabar, Onitsha, and Warri,” he added.
Also speaking during the media parley, the Chief Operating Officer Lekki Port, Laurence Smith, noted that the Lekki Port project remains a watershed in the history of maritime in Nigeria, urging stakeholders, including the media, to continue to lend their support by promoting it.
“This is the gateway to the maritime and beyond. I have not seen any investment like this anywhere other than in Dubai. This port can generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Nigeria and hundreds of thousands of jobs” Smith said
Also speaking, Assistant Controller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Joseph Ephraim, noted that the agency is entirely on the ground to provide the much-needed support by conducting the necessary checks before the evacuation of cargo at the Port.
Ephraim reiterated the agency’s commitment to collaborate and cooperate with other regulatory agencies to ensure and guarantee the timely evacuation of cargo at the Port.
On his part, the representative of the Managing Director Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Ikechukwu Onyemachara, who spoke at the event, said the NPA as a shareholder and regulator, is proud to be associated with the project, assuring the Lekki Port team of its unwavering commitment to supporting the project.
“This is a Nigerian project, and we are very proud to be associated with it. We will fast-track any necessary approval Lekki Port needs and continue to do our best to provide marine services,” Onyemachara said.
Delivering the votes of thanks at the end of the parley, the Executive Director, Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLEL), Mrs Adesuwa Ladoja, described the Lekki Deep Sea Port as a project of pride not only for the promoters but for the government and the people of Nigeria. She urged the media to continue supporting the project and to shape and push positive perceptions to boost the investors’ confidence and the port’s success in delivering on its economic potential for the country.
The media parley was also attended by the representatives of all the regulators at the Port, including NPA, NEPZA, The Nigerian Customs Service NDLEA, Nigeria Police, and DSS.
All the government agencies present pledged their support and cooperation to the success of the Port