Lekki Port LFTZ Enterprise (LPLE) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the operation of the container terminal of Tolaram Port@Lekki.
ICTSI has been selected as the preferred operator for a sub-concession to equip and operate the container terminal on an exclusive basis for a 20 year period, following a Request for Proposal process. The MoU will serve as a framework for a definitive and formal sub-concession agreement.
Slated for completion by 2016, this visionary project - the largest of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa - is promoted by the Tolaram Group in partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government (LASG).
Tolaram Port@Lekki, set within the Lagos Free Trade Zone, is strategically located 65 km east of Lagos and will comprise a container terminal, a dry bulk terminal and a liquid bulk terminal with a total quay length of 1,500 meters.
Given its proximity to Lagos, the facility is well connected to industrial and consumption centres of Nigeria.
The container terminal will have a handling capacity of 2.5 million TEUs with a quay length of 1,200 meters, an initial draft of 14 meters, with the potential for further dredging to 16.5 meters, upon completion. These features enable the facility to allow shipping lines to call with larger vessels, to make the port into the preferred destination for the West African region.
It is envisaged that LPLE shall be responsible for design and civil works with a projected investment of more than USD 1 billion. ICTSI shall, subject to execution of a definite sub-concession agreement, provide state-of-the-art equipment and IT infrastructure, and be exclusively responsible for container operation during the term of the sub-concession in line with global standards.
“ICTSI is excited at having been nominated the preferred bidder for this prestigious project that will further enhance Nigeria’s position on the regional and global maritime map,” says Enrique K. Razon Jr., ICTSI Chairman.
“The port project will be our largest investment to date and reflects our confidence in the Nigerian economy. Our belief and studies have shown that this infrastructure investment will result in significant multiplier benefits for the country’s future and catalyse the industrial development of this region. It is, by far, the largest infrastructure investment by a Singaporean company in Nigeria,” says Haresh Aswani who is both Tolaram Group’s Managing Director in Nigeria and Singapore’s Honorary Consul-General to Nigeria.
“The Lekki container terminal will provide a quality alternative to container handling facilities in the region, dramatically improving Nigeria’s international connectivity and its supply chains,” confirms Jens O. Floe, ICTSI Senior Vice President for Africa.
“Our facility in Lekki, given its location within West Africa’s largest market, has strong potential to emerge as the region’s dominant transshipment hub,” Mr. Floe added.
Nigeria’s size and profile, strong GDP growth and double-digit trade expansion have made the development of the Nigerian maritime infrastructure one of the key priorities of the NPA and the LASG. Tolaram Port@Lekkiproject is an excellent example of a successful public-private partnership (PPP), and could well turn into a role model for infrastructure development across Africa.
Publicly, the project has received strong support from all levels of the Nigerian Government, both Federal and State. The decision to approve the project is an affirmation of the Government’s commitment to develop the economy through PPP initiatives. The NPA and LASG have committed to work closely with LPLE to ensure the timely completion of the project.
It is such proactive initiatives by the Government that have made Nigeria one of the most attractive investment destinations, not only within Africa but also worldwide.