Lekki Port Management Enterprise Limited (LPLEL) has disclosed that commercial operations will begin at the port on Friday, 7th of April 2023.
The management stated this when some executives members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) paid a courtesy visit to the port on Monday.
The Chief Executive Officer of the port; Mr. Yann Magarian who received the delegation of ANLCA led by its acting President Dr. Kayode Farinto stated this while explaining the readiness of the port to begin commercial operations soon.
Also while interacting with the members of the association during a video guide activities at the port, the Chief Commercial Officer of the port; Mr. Kehinde Olubi-Neye stated that the port will receive its first commercial vessel coming in on the 7th of this month, even though he didn’t give further details about where the vessel is coming from.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in January this year commissioned the $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport, with the official commissioning of the port stakeholders had expected commercial operations to begin immediately however the port has remained without a vessel calling at the port since its commissioning.
The management of the port while briefing the executives of the ANLCA, stated that the port is fully-ready to begin commercial operations, this is even as the Chief Executive Officer of the port reinstated that the port will be devoid of every human interface from the entry gate to the exit gate.
He said the port is an automated port and there won’t be the need for human interference while also adding that officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) won’t be needed at both the entry and the exit point of the port.
He urged ANLCA to patronise the port as he stated that there is a volume threshold expected of the port to meet up with before phase two of the port can be developed.
Giving a breakdown of some of the terminal equipment, the Chief Commercial Officer(CCO); Kehinde Olubi- Neye said the terminal has five Ship to Shore cranes, 15 RTGs, 532 reefer plugs, two reach stackers, seven empty container handlers, 35 terminal tractors 42 yard chassis, and five forklifts, making the port the most-equipped port in Nigeria and West Africa.
Olubi-Neye also added that the port has put in place a truck transit park that will be commissioned before the end of this month for the smooth movement of trucks in and out of the port.
He explained that the port will run an electronic system of truck call-up and time scheduling where code will be generated for a truck driver before gaining entrance into the port.
The CCO also said there are plans in place for the port to have an annex office in Apapa where inquiries and other related issues will be resolved.
Explaining its preparedness as regards cargo movement, the CCO stated that the port has test run some ocean-going barges that could be used for cargo movement from the port while informing that there are enough barges for the purpose.
He noted that many other investors have approached the management as regards the issue of investing in barges when commercial operations start. Speaking earlier, the acting president of ANLCA; Dr Kayode Farinto, said the association will not tolerate the issue of stoppage of consignment after it must have been cleared by certified security officers at the port.
He noted that the clearing process should have got to a stage where one can be in the comfort of his office and carry out his clearance on the system without human contact.
He urged the port not to give room for overzealous officers who may want to truncate the beautiful idea of the port.
“The clearing process should get to a stage where I could be in the comfort of my office and even do my clearance on the system.
“So these are the things we will not allow in the port, if anybody wants to stop any cargo, let such person put it to writing”, he said
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