Lagos — Ahead of the official commissioning of the Lekki Deep Seaport in September, the port yesterday received its first vessel carrying equipment meant for port operation.
Vessel named ‘MV Zhen Hua’ with IMO number 8700266 sailed in with three State of the Art Ship To Shore cranes and 10 Rubber Tyred Gantry RTGs cranes just as the cargoes are being discharged.
Speaking at the welcoming ceremony of the vessel, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko said that the equipment are critical to the commencement of operations of the Lekki Deep Seaport adding that the vessel call was historic as it moves Nigeria a step closer to birthing Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport and also demonstrates the country’s readiness to take trade facilitation a notch higher.
He stated: “The commitment of the Nigerian Ports Authority to providing every support necessary to place Nigeria on the global list of countries with Deep Seaports is unflinching. This is why matters related to the operationalization of Lekki Deep Seaport before the end of this year have been placed on top priority. I commend the Federal Ministry of Transportation for the tremendous backing the NPA has enjoyed leading to this historic exercise. For us at the Nigerian Ports Authority the coming on stream of Lekki Deep Sea Port symbolizes a lot of positives.
“Apart from being Nigeria’s first Deep Seaport, Lekki Port will also be the first fully automated port at take-off.
“This provides an insight into the path we are already toeing as a management team to govern the operationalization of not just the forthcoming Badagry, Ibom and Bonny Deep Seaports, but also of the reconstruction of the aged Tin-Can Port, where work is set to commence once we secure the necessary approvals from the Federal Ministry of Transportation and FEC respectively. Let me reiterate that automation remains the most veritable tool for assuring Port efficiency, and as most of us are aware, the NPA is working assiduously under the technical guidance of the International Maritime Organization to deploy the Port Community System (PCS), which will enable us respond squarely to the dictates of global trade facilitation and optimize the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement to which Nigeria is signatory.
“Our strategic intent of becoming the maritime logistics hub for sustainable ports services in Africa rests heavily on how well we are able deepen our efficiencies through the construction of deep seaports in order to leverage the concomitant benefits of economies of scale.”
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