The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Mr. Mohammed Koko, yesterday, stated that Nigeria has started wresting cargoes meant for Nigerian ports from neighbouring West African countries, including Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana.
He said this was made possible by the inauguration of the Lekki Deep Sea Port, in Lagos, and improved ports efficiency.
Koko, who disclosed this during an interactive session with newsmen, in Lagos, said business has commenced in Lekki Deep Sea Port.
“I must say it is the first time a government will start construction of a port, finish and commission it before leaving office.
“As you know, the Lekki Deep Seaport has been in the brain box for over 10 years. It is this administration that came in and gave all the necessary support through the Ministry of Transportation and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
“They have done the test run on all the necessary equipment, they have done their recruitments, people have been training and the vessels have started coming in, at least, we had a vessel that came in to take out empty containers and by April, we expect that the first commercial vessel will start coming.
“So business has started actually in Lekki Deep Sea Port. Everything is ready and it is going to be automated as we said, and all the gaps we observed either in Tincan Island Port or Apapa, whether in terms of scanners, equipment and others, you will find all of them in Lekki.
“Unlike the two weeks it takes for cargo clearing at Apapa port in Lagos, at Lekki it would be out in just two days.
“With Lekki Deep Sea Port, the NPA has been able to wrest cargoes from neighbouring countries back to the country.