Lagos flags off construction of seaport, airport

By The Citizen

The Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority and a private investor - Lekki Port Lekki Free Trade Zone Enterprise, LPLE, has commenced the development of the Lekki Deep Seaport in Akodo, Ibeju-Lekki Local Council of the state

The Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Olusola Oworu, the need for another seaport in the state was due to the inadequacy of facilities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports.

According to Oworu, the shareholders' agreement has been executed while preliminary works have started at the site.

According to her, the development of Lekki Deep Seaport (Phase I) would gulp $1.5 billion. When completed, the port would relieve the pressure on the Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports and would also support business activities at the Lekki Free Trade Zone.

The construction of the port is expected to last for about four years and more than 10,000 jobs are projected to be created directly and indirectly during the construction period while more than 169,000 jobs would be generated directly and indirectly when it becomes fully operational, according to government sources.

On the proposed Lekki-Epe International Airport, the commissioner said since the Lekki Free Trade Zone would soon become a haven for investment, the government thought it fit to have an international airport in the area.

'The state government has commenced works on the development of the Lekki-Epe International Airport to complement activities at the zone and also provide alternative air transport services in the state. The State Government has successfully obtained the site approval for the airport from the Federal Ministry of Aviation and has also completed the master plan of the 3,500 hectares of land earmarked for the project.

'The Lekki-Epe International Airport is designed to handle about five million passengers annually with provision for a modular terminal for future expansion. Preliminary works on the airport project have commenced with the clearing of 150 hectares (runway), 4.5km of the access road and 9km of perimeter road.

'The Lands Bureau has successfully completed the crop enumeration exercise on the designated site for the airport to facilitate the payment of compensation to affected land owners and farmers. In line with the policy of the present administration on public-private partnership, the proposed airport will be built and managed by private investors,' Oworu said.

She added that toward this end, the process for the selection of private investors to develop and manage the airport has commenced, saying that to handle this process, a team of local and internationally acclaimed consultants namely: Stanbic IBTC (Financial Advisers), Arup PTY (Technical Consultants), Norton Rose (Off-shore Legal Consultants) and Banwo and Ighodalo (Local Legal Consultants) have been engaged.