Many existing Nigerian seaports, inherited from the colonial administration, no longer function properly.
Nigeria has opened a billion-dollar Chinese-built deep-water port in Lagos that is expected to ease congestion at the country’s ports and help it become an African transshipment hub, processing cargoes in transit to other destinations.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who inaugurated the port on Monday, has made infrastructure construction a key pillar of his government’s economic policy and hopes it will help his ruling party win votes in the presidential election of next month.
Many Nigerian seaports, inherited from British colonial administration, are no longer functional or operating below capacity. Currently, most trading activities pass through the two in Lagos and two more in and around Port Harcourt, the oil capital of the country, resulting in constant traffic jams and logistical problems for imports and exports.
The local Punch newspaper reported that Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that “the size of the vessels coming here could be up to four times the size of the vessels currently docking at Tin Can and Ports Ports. To Dad. [Lagos’s existing ports].”
The new deep-sea port of Lekki is 75% owned by China Harbor Engineering Company and Singapore’s Tolaram Group, with the balance shared between the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Authorities said the new port, built for $1.5 billion, is one of the largest in West Africa.
“This is a transformative project, a game-changing project. This project could create at least 200,000 jobs,” Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun told Reuters after Buhari commissioned the port. .
China is one of the largest bilateral lenders to Nigeria and has financed railways, roads and power stations.