Nigeria is set to receive its first deep sea port in the city of Lekki, Lagos State, after the country signed agreements with China Development Bank.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu witnessed the signing of four agreements, including a USD 629 million financing facility that would accelerate the completion of the Lekki deep sea port project which started in 2011.
The government said the works on the project would be completed in 30 months.
The loan was secured from the Chinese bank after China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which owns majority shares in the project, signed a 45-year concessionary agreement with Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise Limited (LPLTZ) to complete the first phase of the deep seaport project.
Once completed, the port would feature two 680-meter container berths with a depth of 16.5 meters. As outlined, the port will be capable of handling ships with a capacity of up to 18,000 TEU.
“The loan facility represents a significant milestone, which when combined with foreign direct investment of USD 230 million through equity injection by CHEC, will ensure a successful delivery of the seaport and reposition Nigeria as the transshipment hub in sub-Saharan Africa upon the conclusion of the second phase,” Biodun Dabiri, Chairman of Lekki Port Board of Directors, commented.
CHEC Chairman Lin Yichong said that the first phase of the project would be built with an annual handling capacity of 1.2 million TEU, adding that the capacity would be increased to 2.5 million TEU upon the completion of the second phase.