Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, has affirmed that the accomplishment of Lekki Port in welcoming the largest LNG-powered container vessel; CMA CGM SCANDOLA, within just one year, has enshrined the names of Lagos and Nigeria as significant players in global port transactions.
Sanwo-Olu, speaking at the grand arrival of the vessel in Lagos on Monday expressed immense pride in Lekki Port’s achievement, declaring it a milestone that has positioed Lagos as a major mover in the world’s logistics marine business.
The governor emphasized the transformative role of Lekki Port, traditionally a privilege reserved for developed nations, in putting Lagos and Nigeria on the map of global port transactions.
Highlighting the historical significance, Sanwo-Olu acknowledged the foundational role of Lekki Freeport in developing ports like Lagos Ports, Apapa Port, and Tin Can Port.
He underscored the need for expanded infrastructure, applauding the choice of Lekki as a home for Lekki Deep Port.
The governor further said that the vision for the state extended beyond the current achievement, envisioning Lagos as a pivotal hub, not only for West Africa but for West and Central Central Africa and potentially Southern Africa in the realm of logistics and container terminals.
He reiterated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s economic goals, emphasizing the crucial role of maritime and port business in driving the nation towards a $1 trillion economy by 2030.
The governor also expressed the determination to make Lagos the safest part of sub-Saharan Africa, fostering an environment where businesses thrive and investments are secure.
He said his vision painted Lagos as a leader, acting as a catalyst for economic development on the continent.
“I think it’s a big feat. It’s something that we really need to roll out drums and get proud of,because what that is about is about, indeed, we’re putting Lekki Freeport, we’re putting Lagos, we’re putting Nigeria into the world’s global logistics marine business.
“This is a business that has been a privilege to a few countries, developed countries in America, in Europe, in the Far East, in some parts of Africa as well.
But now, given the size of the business that can come to our community,
The Lekki Freeport and the Lekki Port itself, has put and enshrined our name as one of the big movers of port transactions in the world”, he stressed.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola
echoed the governor’s sentiments at the ceremony.
Oyetola who was represented by the Managing Director Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA); Mohammed Bello Koko commended Lekki Deep Seaport’s eco-friendly measures, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon intensity in international shipping.
He also praised the NPA’s compliance with the Ministerial directive to embrace global energy transition in its port modernization project.
The Minister emphasized the pivotal role of shipping in global decarbonization efforts, citing the IMO’s strategy aiming for a 40% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030.
He further commended Lekki Deep Seaport for not only being Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport, but also the first fully- automated port, aligning with international standards.
Oyetola further shed light on the importance of Lekki Port’s natural depth, state-of-the-art equipment, and robust infrastructure, which positions it as a mega transshipment hub with a capacity of up to 1.2 million TEUs in its initial phase.
He stressed the imperative of making ports eco-friendly to comply with international regulations, pointing out Nigeria’s commitment to minimizing air pollution by transitioning to LNG.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of Lekki Deep Seaport, Du Rougang, said that the berthing of the vessel is creating a new plan for Nigeria’s ports.
“We want to ensure that Lekki Port plays a major role in the nation’s maritime industry, ” he said.