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The Lagos State Government has revealed that it has secured a loan of $629 million to finance the on-going Lekki Deep Sea Port Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) billion dollar project.

Lagos Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Dr Lola Akande, disclosed this at the year 2021 ministerial press briefing to commemorate the second year in office of Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, which held in Alausa, Ikeja, on Monday.

The Lekki Deep Sea Port is being built over 90 hectares of land at the centre of the Lekki Free Trade Zone, (LFTZ), approximately 60 kilometer east of Lagos. It is the first deep seaport to be built in Nigeria on Built Own and Transfer agreement.

Construction of the initial budgeted $1.5 billon deep sea port began in December 2017 and the project is expected to be completed in 2023 after been reviewed.

The multi-purpose Lekki port will have container, liquid and dry bulk terminals to serve container vessels of up to 8,000TEUs (20ft equivalent units), dry bulk vessels, and liquid bulk cargo vessels.

A 9 kliometres-long and 19 metres-deep navigation channel and a 600m-wide turning basin will be built to allow vessels to approach or leave the port. A 1,500m breakwater structure and a 300m secondary breakwater structure will be constructed for safe handling of vessels.

Other facilities at the port will include a 6km-long and 14.5m-deep approach channel, quay wall, cargo handling cranes, and three 19m-deep liquid jetties.

When operational, the Lekki deep sea port is expected to be one of the most modern ports in West Africa and support the growth of commercial operations in the region as well as serve as alternative to Apapa Ports.

According to Akande, the loan secured from China Development Bank (CBD) is to support, facilitate the construction, development of the gigantic project and early operation in year 2022 targeted period.

‘Current completion percentage as at February 2021 stood at 47 per cent, trial operations of the port is slated for third quarter of year 2022 while commercial operations is slated for first quarter of year 2023,’ she stated.

Akande explained that the project has provided job opportunities to 611 local workforce, which in life: 32 local skilled workforce, 513 local semi-skilled and 66 local un-skilled labour.

Also speaking on the state of the ongoing construction of Dangote refinery and Petrochemical Industry in LFTZ, she said the project which has generated over 1,000 local employees, is expected to commence operation by end of the second quarter of 2021.

Akande added that the construction of an integrated petroleum delivery system valued at $230 million has been completed.

‘Total number of 40 free zone enterprises were in operation as at February 2021, 1,054 local employment generated between October 2020 and February 2921.

‘Though, Lagos State Government has no shares in Dangote Group, we stand to benefit from employment opportunities,’ she said.

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