Construction of Lekki seaport begins

By The Rainbow

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) said on Thursday that construction had started at the Lekki Sea Port.

According to the Fashola, contractors handling the project have been mobilized to site.

The governor  spoke while addressing the Organised Private Sector at the Lagos Second Corporate Assembly, said its contractors have been mobilised to site.

Fashola, however, however hinged the speedy completion of the project on availability of funds.

ON this premise, he asked for cooperation and support of the investors to ensure that the objectives of the project are achieved.

He said, 'I cannot tell you the date that the port will be finished, but work has started at the port and the contractor is on site.

'There are still a few issues in terms of getting funding and commitment from the private sector because clearly both the management and the private sector own the zone. They are not government-owned, but government has an enabling role to play in the regulation of the zones.'

Plans are  on to drive the zone on water transportation because it is bound by the Atlantic Ocean and the lagoon, the governor said.

According to him, 'This zone is located on a peninsula. That is why we are considering the need to transport our goods on the water. We have put the cat before the horse. This peninsula sits so strategically in that it has access to its own transportation which is water transportation.

'That was why we have decided to fast-track the plan of accessing the zone and evacuation of cargo by using the lagoon. This lagoon goes as far as Ondo State. Most logs come into the state through water. I do not know any country where the haulage of its industrial cargo are transported by road.

'It is not sustainable.The roads will not last. The water ways would be our immediate and short term focus. And before the end of the year, we would ensure the possibility of water transportation in the zone.'

Governor Fashola also informed the crowd of business owners and investors that the design for the construction of airport on the zone is also ready, adding that soon the bid would be sent to the public for investors who want to build to indicate interest.

He said the state was strategically positioned, citing the advantage of population and proximity to Europe, Middle East and South America, all of which the development of the airport would benefit.

He said the management would source private capital to develop Lekki International Airport, noting that the airport would be of international standard according to the approved plan.

'We have shortlisted bid for people who want to build the airport. For me, my responsibility is that you want an airport through which you can run your business, but I don't have the money to build it. But I can provide the land which is what we have done. It will be an airport that would drive business at all points like we have seen all over the world.'

He assured that the state government is committed to providing infrastructure needed to make the trade zone functional.

Governor Fashola faulted the plan by the Federal Government to sell the National Theatre, stating that it was like wiping away the country's national history.

'I wondered which kind of people offered to buy the edifice. If someone who had visited the country in 1977 for the FESTAC 77 comes back and wanted to see the National Theatre, we would now say that it is now an hotel. Stop wiping away history,' he said.